the poetry that matters

Paul Ferrell

Paul Ferrell currently resides north of Chicago. A former journalist in New Haven, Connecticut, he has published poetry through handmade zines such as” Emotional Turmoil” and “(sense)ored”. He was an experimental bar culture columnist/book reviewer/concert reviewer and feature writer for the New Haven Advocate, Hamden Chronicle and the Fairfield Weekly. He was also front man for a poetry noise musical group called Felonious Drunk. He gave up writing for a living and now writes and performs poetry mostly for free and cares for mental patients for pay.



Arid Spring.

The car engine somehow survives its way up across the border into Wisconsin. It hasn’t rained since the Death Of Disco and if a cloud grew damp with mercy it would dump a paper bag of pennies upon its people.

Pennies on a railroad track smooth and flat copper surrounded by trees.

We regard ourselves as playwrights in the Absurdist tradition.

High on Wisconsin porn shop laughing gas, we design our final act in secret.

High on Wisconsin porn shop laughing gas that puts hair on your brain and makes your head “ding” like Tom the cat when he steps on a rake. We will dress our lovely last act in pigtails and a top hat and send her dancing behind the footlights, before the roar of the audience, the crowds, the cops.







She lies on her back, arms dangling from the bar counter. My shot glass rests on her belly which is firm, as smooth as vanilla. Often, she will interrupt my pompous sermons with an easy supply of giggles. Life and how it’s more trouble and less pay.

Rabid jazz erupts from the juke box. The bartender raises his ax, lobs off her head, packages and sells it.

My last dream was a faded green drifting down these flabby corridors, climbing up the stairwell and slipping beneath my bedroom door to carry me upstream. A fog oozing through the canals of Venice and snaking about the waters until the first clue of morning. 





Duke Nuk’em

Paper cranes blanket statues the late end of Sunday night.

5 million pounds of “click” (the swish and swirl of lost channels).


There are outbursts pulling threads throughout, there are movie stars.

There are a million ideas stabbed to death in the park.

There are populists in match stick houses, found in the foxholes of late night television dreamt of in black and white and they climb from the shipwreck of commemorative stumps to pose swishy, napalm martini swirling in hand. Flashbulbs, the sparks that “pop” and spray, orange flares of highway check point, we were mixing martinis in the car discussing Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer, we need minds of early bloom. These brains are as numb as surgery.

Hydro-electric teeth, a dead hell cloud (15 minutes and I still wasn’t born yet).

We are all watching television in America these days scares the shit out of me.

It’s all mad bombs and movie stars.






THE APPLICANT (re: Sylvia Plath)

He is such a stoic, marble statue seated in his chair that pigeons shit on him.

He has a face that can only be described as 78 degrees with a slight chance of showers.

He is both the rain and the shackles in between.

As you roast in spotlight and we apply the image, we must remember to be religious about nothing.

To amount to nothing in a snap.

To be the snake, or the buttery infant.

The image of Mary leaning down to kiss the forehead or that rudimentary force of nature that wraps her

legs around your waist to dissolve the difficulty of being born, bear another. Becoming someone else is

difficult as it is, who is the someone you prefer?

Do you mind turning your head a little to the left so that we may get a better look at ourselves?

Meeting questions with questions. The poem needs an image to cling to…a goats head or lambs

breath.  The weeping ghost, or the bloody hands that made her.

Even the adaptation of lunacy, I am prepared to become anything. Lonely Sunday morning or her

boisterous  brother Saturday night.  A return to the pale, humble and slight. Those are blank faces not to

be confused with dumb.

You may mold this face until the nose falls off and no carny will take me lightly.

The bubble that pops, or the air that eats it.



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                                                                                                        September 17, 2012