April 9, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Katina Rogers photo



John Dorroh




Cowboys on the High Line



How many people wear cowboy hats in New York City?

I mean, beside the Naked Cowboy, who isn’t really naked,

because if he were, he’d probably be arrested and detested

by jealous men who never looked half that good, even in their prime.


An impromptu cowboy mini-convention

along the High Line on the side of Chelsea Market on 13th.

The smell of leather hats 200 yards before

they came into view.


I needed to see a campfire and hear the clinks

of those blue metal coffee cups covered with dull-white dots

like measles. There should have been a cast iron pot full

of beans with chunks of bacon and thickened with black strap

molasses. There should have been more horses.


Instead, one of them ate sushi, fingering the chopsticks

like a pro. Another munched on a humongous Burger King

sandwich. They drank Evian as if it were water.


Poetry fell out of the lips of the old one in black. My mouth

was open like a cave. I stared in awe, unable to move,

taking a seat on the high desert plain, waiting for crossfire,

some kind of cowboy fight. All I got was words.





The Honeysuckle Bush



The old honeysuckle bush was evicted

from the ground today, its main roots

severed like arteries and veins, leaking

sap like tears falling onto the ground.

The kitties walk gingerly around the clearing,

confused, reminding me with those sweet

green eyes that that was where they caught

their first mouse.  I tell Rat-Kat that I miss

her too, the tiny yellow-white blooms,

profuse, thickly populated on lightweight

arms, supporting thousands of nectar-packed

morsels for birds and bees and whatever else

wants inside.


“Leave it,” I say. “Why do you want it gone?”

I don’t think he’s sure, but he tells me that

it’s a pest, that it will take over, and that

the blooms have lost their scent. “Go ahead,

take a smell.” I do. He’s right but I can’t bear

to hang around while he cuts her to the ground.

“Stay here,” he said, “in case I cut myself with this

damned chain saw.”


And then he’d know how it feels.






John Dorroh

The verdict is still out whether John Dorroh actually taught high school science, but he showed up every morning with two lessons plans. He helped his students discover science principles and concepts with writing and reading strategies. His poetry has been published in Dime Show Review, Suisun College Review, Walk-Write-up, Poetry Breakfast, and others. He also writes flash fiction and short stories.

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