MUST BE SOME VAMPIRE IN MY BLOOD
The sun comes up too early in summer,
stays too long. An' night streets
always got people--young ones
yellin' an' runnin' through alleys,
old ones sittin' on stoops lookin'
like they missed the last train to paradise.
What's a self-respectin' ghoul gonna do?
Ain't no where to hide, no one to haunt.
Everybody's together yuckin' it up.
An' when they're not, it's day
when you can't have no fun anyway.
INLAWS IS OUTLAWS
I'm shootin' eight ball
when this slob lays down two quarters
sayin' next game. I eyeball him
like hey buddy, you's in the wrong bar
ona wrong street ina wrong city.
His gut flops outa a ripped Harley tank top.
He gotta couple front teeth missin' an'
one a them haircuts like a cue ball
with a patch of mold on top.
I glance at my brother who got
just the duece before the eight.
He shrugs an' chalks his stick.
"Yeah," the slob says, "figgered I'd
meet yinz before you know,
we're officially related."
Me an' my brother stop dead
an' glare at him.
"Yeah," he says, "me an' your sister
are gettin' married next week."
I'm just dumbstruck an' do, say nothin'.
But my brother, he flips his cue stick
so's the thick part's on top an' swings that sucker
like Babe Ruth goin' for a hundred dollar bet.
FINDIN' THE RIGHT SLOT
Think trip sevens is lucky?
Not me. Not my way.
I mean what comes in sevens?
Locusts? The itch? Years of bad luck?
I don't put no stock in nothin' like that.
You got your rabbit's foot, your lucky charms,
your four leaf clover, gris gris,
your ole St. Christopher's medal.
Ain't that enough?
Not me. Not my way.
So whadda I got, huh? I'll tell you.
I got me a couple a fifths of vodka
an' all the dreams inside.
JOSEPH LISOWSKI has taught at several colleges and universities, most notably, Duquesne University, Point Park College, The University of the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas serves as the setting for his 3 published detective fiction novels), J.Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Elizabeth City State University, and at the Virginia State Penitentiary. Currently, he is a volunteer tutor at Bon Air Juvenile Correction Center, Richmond, VA. Among his many awards and grants, he received the UNC Board of Governors Teacher of the Year award (2013-2014).