June 5, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Ray Greenblatt




After The Torture



After he left the interrogation room

he wondered why he got so drunk that night,

but then he had enjoyed drinking to excess

with his buddies in the past.

He let the observation panel

in his brain slide open a bit

to wonder why he relied on sleeping pills,

but this had been going on for months.

Then again he was recently not able

to consummate his love with his wife—

oh, chalk it up to middle age.


The next day in his office

his hangover a gray shroud over his head

he knew he would encounter

jagged scabs over wounds, not like splitting wood

when logs lay neatly in rows

their exposed cores a smooth whiteness.

And the moaning, the frantic eyes,

the uncontrollable fluttering of limbs—

a passage, of all things, from an old book

would not leave him: When the brains were out, the man

would die, and there an end; but now they rise again.

Something he once heard about how you

fondly remember your youth made him pause,

then hurry to the bathroom.






Against The Wall



They marched out the priest

not knowing he saw the chapel

crucifix in pieces,

no phone lines to Rome;


the teacher who when they fired

pulled his book out of a breast

pocket and snorted as

they loaded again;


when the musician fell

red notes trickled out

of his twisted mouth,

open eyes bright cymbals.


Now that the leaders were gone

the masses milling,

they could rule with gloating







Ray Greenblatt

Ray Greenblatt is an editor on the Schuylkill Valley Journal and teaches a poetry course at Temple University.He has had poetry books published by Foothills Pub, Incline Press, Sunstone Press. His reviews have been published by the Dylan Thomas Society, Joseph Conrad Today, the John Updike Society.

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