the poetry that matters

Darryl Salach resides in Mississauga, Ontario. He is the creator and chief editor of The Toronto Quarterly. His poetry has been published in many literary journals and online zines such as The Starfish Journal, Lummox Journal, Neonbeam Magazine, Battered Suitcase, The Rattlesnake Review, Heroin Love Songs, Zygote in my Coffee, Misunderstandings Magazine, and the forthcoming issue of The New York Quarterly.


spin the bottle
                closed eyes quiver
      the desolate waiting area

       the aroma with iodine
                          bumble bees buzzing

an inarticulate man strides to
                                             the microphone
asking the assistant to dim
                   the lights
there are shadows
                          on a graffiti-stained wall

                 and a cocker spaniel
eats lunch with the decaying
                            feline corpse

computer glitch
                       another homicide in the east end

a poke and then silence
                           bombastic muscle reflex
the extraction of spinal fluid
                                     is now complete.



Many voices sleep in plastered walls -
the enigma - the sadness lines the concealed hardwood floors
a phone call, laughter strikes
murmurs from the bathroom, and then the kitchen pots
and pans are stainless yet echoing consignment -
the maiden voyage has struck ice cubes and a bottle.

Heart-attack and the marbles scramble for daylight
another awkward instance and the canopy bed is empty
fortunes are lost – foreign tongues are glued to counteract
the enforcement of micro-managed forfeiture -
a bathroom sink is grime-stricken, toilets gurgle with suspense -
deodorized cathedrals with angry parishioners liquidate assets.

Dark-glasses, southern comfort and the diatribe who litter your fuchsia-coloured cheeks with smitten-soaked kisses of condolence,
soliciting parades of comedic mourners who isolate the community campgrounds - bonfires are set ablaze to abstract the pending
full moon as it’s willingness to absorb your pain is neutralized -
a gravestone will honour his lackluster existence silently.

The widow will atone her body structure and tantalize men
with abrupt moments of secular appointments in the round,
sweat-soaked linen, a monumental hang-over satisfy her
and her significant other – paralleled unconsciousness, aggrieved-
the asphyxiated momentary silence – and an awakening scream
torches the darkness of the unsophisticated room – she is alive.



Walter Cronkite:
                               death – of the 6 o’clock tea party
                         astronauts, cigars, and scotch -
reality has been deemed
in today’s world
                    of fraudulent portrayals of freedom

vote me an idol
          light-hearted jokes
                        a song and then happiness
           séances on prime time
we greet the air-brush
                                    with applause and data – ratings
and commercials
                          all senseless and appease no one.

in high definition
                  we watch the butchery

the neighbourhood is peppered with gunshots and flame
a video game
                             in the making

and in the directors chair
                                      with popcorn between our legs
          sit you and I
numbed by very little surprise.

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