Basil Rosa – 3 poems


out of jade


             leaping from rock to rock


             a crabby nipple

                          eaten sustenance


             raking fears down ankles.

abandoned shell-holds,
flash-bone’s eroding shore

You wanted a bay, you took it.

hooked strand lines south
to spread crepuscular gentian slicks
skeptical sliver questions

among the stout
             among the whining fuckers

your big red cock rising
             bathed in lavender motes



stoic dry serene

            tempting cliff-side
            through eucalyptus soup.

             artichoke must.
             of Celine, Neruda, and Celan.

             rangy orange groves.
Imagined returns
             to prison violence.
Mexican bars for salt-lipped darkness,
            whores and
mariachi tunes jiggering a wheeze
             from under your opened hoods.

You’re a vato vintage Chevy pick-up
             painted cherry-red –

             into fault lines anarchic,
             you piss on them all
             to surrender.



cove below Capitola
                                for Kessler

Ice cabbage spikes
             flooding red your Zazen why.                       




              at naked in January
not knowing this is how
one of our deaths would end
you ran for half a century babbling
prisoner of barnacles, mussels
shard-shells tearing at feet,
lost layers of skin,
you in the furnace-cooling
with blasted end-of-day ships in your craw

aching to roll the surface
             knocking you senseless
             into hidden jetties and grottoes 


High tide
            letting on. 


the Pacific swallows you,
all tessellations and dancing coins
ease you back to ship’s berth,
amniotic, sledding, sudsy
under and silent into the once more
sepulchral papaya-scented blush…. 

a house clean of seaweed gloom,
cobbled beds and the aquiline –



Basil Rosa (, who also writes as John Flynn, has published five poetry chapbooks, a story collection, Something Grand, a book of poems, Moments Between Cities, and translations from the Romanian of Nicolae Dabija, Blackbird Once Wild Now Tame. He’s earned awards from New England Poetry Club, and U.S. Peace Corps. His novel Heaven Is A City Where Your Language Isn’t Spoken is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press (



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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