Charles Clifford Brooks III – 3 poems


Bad Poems

Bad poems are unlucky pennies.

To sell this poem
is like trading dead puppies
for an abortion.
It gets by.
It’s whining
to a grocery bag.


Cigarettes and Soma

Hours at the mercy of lovers introduced by hatred, distain, differences,

to fuck like fate made history warp to get our gig together

in Yeats’ Brown Penny it was, in a baritone touched

with British highlights which reads a soup recipe sounding better than Shakespeare.

I loved.  I loved.  I loved princesses who all picked a few of these tales

to escape, to project a bubble gum lack of intellect.  No – unfair, unjust,

these recollecting films are from photons colliding in her mind

casting us as them.  Romantics should roll with it, taking medication that makes

watching coffee drip – a miracle.

Flying dreams end in falling when formed by a mental state stirred

by neurons set on sinister visions flashing like the crummy past, like a black-and-white time’s

flash bulb.  Night needs no introduction as I adore the hours after midnight,

before dawn, the lines put down to this religion are on-and-on for eons

and tired to everyone – including me.  More sunlight manufacturing this sizzling effect

which bangs my nerves out of steel and into a more supple Sunday suit.

Blood the blood of crooks and church organists, leaking into grout between tiles

that have seen countless feet carrying men who need to drink.

I see few butterflies when the skies are stained by gray matter even Christmas

cannot fully waylay from winter’s funk.

Text messages and jealous phone calls cannot be curbed to this day as we’re

apart for all time, every day, sharing space while wanting more space

between.  No more lying to buy comic books, to stay with friends equally deep

in cartoons, grabbing sushi after dinner to be home by nine o’clock.  New car crashes of

of Sunday boredom, healing, sugar to settle a stomach too hot to hold food, calories

gone – a stalemate is met between anorexia and mom’s uneasy life worrying about

the way I intake – music to forget this tyrant will sleep alone, be vulnerable, lying

with a pistol close at hand.  No guard here – what’s my responsibility – conditioned

to be paranoid, self-conscious, owing I’m sorry for everything.  Furious am I over

this weakness, this wicked last year, my penchant to use wrath as wrong strength.

Watching Cops keeps me constantly reminded that my life is a liquid

charmed by days out of church, in bars too late, in clubs where Jack Daniels

inspires fake lives, names, and needs.  There are only a few spots

of fury shown in three decades of dodging drama to find it in gas stations

where Latinos offered entry into their gang while I watched my friend’s

car from their bare mattress.  Stories about compulsive disorders and prescription pill abuse

lights up monsters after murder, sex, acts of dying desire as excuses

to get more, and more, and more from family.  Eyes are averted to see only daisies.





 copper scales over sinew, concrete around soft tissue,

i swear to christ i’m psychic,

hollow oaths echoing i have to do this alone,

moon vines with lanced flesh

let bloodied petals go


to comfort a zone whose compass points inward,

to a dreaming pool

in sync with withdrawal instincts, los angeles sex,

released today through cart-wheeling fog,

past shotgun houses & big drug dealers going green,

the smell of gullible jasmine, teasing an athens paradise,

tucked behind fields glittering like pirate coins,

sidewalk blues, deep like secrets, loud as birth, driving away,

proving pisces are soothsayers

deciding the heart is a foolish child,

a fairytale motorcar, fuzzy dice, the stereo,

a wedding followed by waltzing

failing to flair over floorboards rotted,

minerva’s prerogative,

   painful associations

between confessions & chasing down a savage jungle

smelt this throne for suicidal minstrels,


rise bell-bottomed tinker bell in too-big sunglasses,

captain of tragedy, never sinking,

rising without breezes, steering by jackson, mississippi voodoo,

dismissing nietzsche’s way around man murdering god’s wonder

to altars hugged by tattooed arms,

far away from a thaloc whose mate

will be vast as faith,

growing her love-roses fresh as turned earth,

genuine, wet mouths whispering we aren’t damned




one man hounded vanity, wanted worship, flipped-off jesus,

knowing better having misbehaved, one of virginia’s babies

becoming a broken record spinning mad,

refusing surrender, a cut out, brilliant cancer, rampantly sleepless,

slitting cupid’s throat, inked by a flaming bird, whistling ben harper,

creating shiny words with sound sure

not dashed by some runaway’s slang,

tossing out the scarecrow choked,

racing against passing out, delusions of being bound

 to a blue blood,

                                                   utopia’s joke, greed, what if i don’t know how to love,

black keys scattered, scampering off in


harmonics always an oil spill, sorrow’s tempo, tuned by mechanics

who hock crotches at street corners, a devil-about-town,

the ability to cripple dancing, extend last call, selling for anything,

hashing out mid-may, the reality of settling down,

summer’s conditions,

in a hole-in-the-wall flirty with culture,

perched beside sirens, a philosopher,

& uppity teenagers,

a lucky nickel is tossed,

blind-sided by the girl thought moved out, moved on,

living in paris,

sitting there, watching a walking contradiction

take off out the door


& tripped by feelings, by the ache of distance,

lips framed by curls,

her picture stared at while humming gospel music,

her: the only moment like it was before





smart strippers

make husbands forget their fat wives,

 brawling between a guy’s strength and his screw off’s,

she croons

from this, this,

this language of detachment, classic novels,

a beautiful waste of time, poetry slurred not spoken,

ee cummings’ bud-of-the-bud,


indirect linguistics coming up short of containing it all,

its nucleus loose,

a malaise where no one improves,

chapels tithe empty,

a desire to seduce excuses, mutilation, apathy,

that sound of strange

the rain pings out on tin roofs

polished jade eyes, shoulders fingernail-torn,

prayers to messiahs

wearing rattlesnake boots

kicked around,

no longer arizona-lost,

scuffling ahead without disciples,

without discipline, sleeping naked,

reminding a sinner

home is home even alone,


tonight jacob’s neon ladder lets down compatriots,

elements of genesis,

criminals soaring, destroying worlds,

pulling down panties by alchemy

behind downtown dumpsters,

the alpha keeping his unclaimed house key,  never growing old,

i don’t want this life



Clifford Brooks is a Pushcart nominee who has a History degree from Shorter University.  The Joe Milford Poetry Show and Vox Poetica will feature new work from his books Whirling Metaphysics and The Draw of Broken Eyes which will be published by Gosslee in spring 2012.  He currently haunts Athens, Georgia.




About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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