by Jeffrey Kahrs

Parking Lot Boys

sit on a broken couch
underneath a plum tree
with the rough bark

and the spindly limbs found
in abandoned orchards.
Ferhat the owner’s

second cousin’s son,
Tarık from Turkmenistan,
Ali who showed me

the tunnel leading
to Yildiz Palace.
Mehmet’s ringtail doves

still coo in the old key shack
but he like them is gone,
replaced by these new boys.

They’ll stay a few months
and live in the tunnel,
spend more on cigarettes

than food. They’ll sit
under this plum tree
when weather permits

on furniture they found
abandoned on the street.


While you vomited or slept instead of vomiting
we imagined dressing you in a t-shirt with
a slogan, and it came down to either I SHOT J.R.
or I AM YOUR BITCH. We ate
Persian chicken with almonds stilton stuffed
squash Turkish style chocolate bread pudding and
I won’t let you read this till you can become
jealous. Eric apologized for eating slowly
and ate slowly. Jimmy and Anna
live in the middle of nowhere with the poor
and the poor leave them alone. The Bosphorus night view
stretches to the black hole that is the Black Sea,
and you can see the plain at Büyükdere
where crusaders gathered under
a huge plane tree. Cut down I suppose.
We also discussed a t-shirt
pointed out it was too damn long.

Jeffrey Kahrs was born in the Hague, Netherlands and was raised in California. He moved to Seattle in 1983. In 1988 he helped found a reading series in called Radio Free Leroy’s, which ran for six years. Since 1993 he has lived in Istanbul and worked primarily as a teacher. Over the last few years he has co-edited an issue of the Atlanta Review on poetry in Turkey, been published in Subtropics and had a chapbook e-published through Gold Wake Press. Most recently his eleven-section poem, The Divine Animal, was published at the website mediterranean.nu. In 2010 he will be published in Cantaraville and Talisman: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics.