Thursday, February 25, 2016

Wayne F. Burke- Three Poems

Wayne F. Burke has published two volumes of poetry with Bareback Press: WORDS THAT BURN (2013) and DICKHEAD (2015), and has a third volume, KNUCKLE SANDWICHES, forthcoming (5/16).


Mr. Gootay, from India
owned a funky restaurant
on the backside of Harvard Square
in Cambridge, Mass. where
I worked as fry cook
putting out breakfast
and lunch
and sweating my hangovers
over a sizzling grill
that baked my brain
and made me thirsty again
and one night after work
in a bar in Central square,
where Harvard does not live,
I got the shit beat out of me
and the next day
went to work wearing
mirror sunglasses and
band-aids on my face
and Mr. Gootay asked
"what happened, Vane?"
and I said "I walked into a door,"
and Mr. Gootay
standing with hands behind his back
and wearing a white jacket that
made him look like a doctor,

Punk Fight

the screaming starts
and grows in volume
as two punks get ready
to duke it out;
one punk wings
round-house rights
the other dances
with fists upheld
like John L. Sullivan.
The fight goes on and on
like a bad play;
a girl is called "crack whore"
a guy "bitch"
and John L. Sullivan
spits on his opponent.
The cops are eating doughnuts
or else playing cards
in the station;
a crowd grows to two dozen,
all hoping for a better show
or a quicker end
and when a moon-faced cop shows
the punks split
and the cop
sweating through his shirt
what I'd seen
and I say "nothing"
but he gets an earful from
the fat girl
working at the hot dog stand.


the spirit flew in
through the window
and went down my
I love it
it tells me that
there is hope
that there is a future--
but the night, I said to the spirit
it is so dark
and I am all alone;
and the spirit said that
it knew all about
the dark and
the lone,
and did not think much
of either.


  1. How Harvard Square has changed and you reflecting on it
    with bravado!

    1. they murdered Harvard Square--that horrible Grand Canyon of a new subway station, ugh...used to be human; human-scaled anyway...I have another 'Harvard Square' poem in my new book KNUCKLE SANDWICHES, out 5/16, check it out B.Z., thanks for comment too.