August 27, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Milton P. Ehrlich




Bombs Rush In And Mars A Self-Portrait



He’s a corpulent banker full of pomposity,

with turkey wattles, botox jowls

and a Patek Philippe million-dollar watch,

who has the political clout to send young men

off to kill each other.


He thinks he’s tough with his puffed-up chest

hanging over a sagging potbelly.

A Mussolini jaw protrudes to hide the womanish

features of his baby face.

He dines on grapes and pomegranates and delights

on spitting out seeds on heads of all those before him.


He’s a vulture with a broken wing,

and all he can say is NO to life.

His marred mind is greedy, he never plans to die,

convinced he’s hammered into the brightest star.

He lives a life of sorrow with love that never was.

With no word for pleasure in his vocabulary,

disconnected from his body, passion escapes him.


He thrives on poison alone with an appetite for death.

He sucks on watermelon in a quest for sweetness to no avail.

He survives on bile, never heard music, never learned to dance,

and is only fully awake at the sight of blood, like a guard

at the crematorium who sometimes secretly wishes

he could burn on the other side of the locked door.


I heard that when aliens discovered planet earth,

they concluded there was no intelligent life present.

How right they were!






When Johny Came Marching Home



to a no-confetti parade

after 8 years in the army,

he was proud of his stripes

and his courage under fire.

For the first time in his life

he felt most alive.


He doesn’t complain about

the steel plate in his head,

but hasn’t been able to sleep

since he saw his army buddy

blown up to smithereens.


He came home to discover

his girlfriend hooked up

with his older brother,

who once was his moral rock.


Drowning in a sea of pain,

all he can think of is his betrayal

and the longing for revenge

like dropping the Fat Man

on the raptors he once loved.


All he wants now is to get back

in the fight in Afghanistan,

but the army won’t let him re-up

because he’s blind in one eye

and has made 7 failed attempts

at suicide.






Milton P. Ehrlich

Milton P. Ehrlich, Ph.D. is an 87-year-old psychologist. He is also a Korean War veteran who has published many poems in periodicals such as the “Wisconsin Review,” “Descant,” “Toronto Quarterly Review,” “London Grip,” “Vox Poetica,” Taj Mahal Review, “Red Wheelbarrow,” “Christian Science Monitor,” “Huffington Post,” and the “New York Times.”

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