The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Dustin Nightingale

Apology to the First Creative Writing Class I Ever Taught


It wouldn’t have made much difference
if I hadn’t been up all night drinking every night.
Perhaps if I was better read, or knew
what a caesura is, or knew your names
or could speak one sentence without using fuck
as an adjective--- No, it would’ve made no difference,
your poems would have sucked as much as this one,
with their dead grandmothers trapped forever
in tiny kitchens, or drunk fathers
watching ballgames. How there’s this really sensitive
guy who doesn’t know how to speak to women.
Simply, I was bored out of my fucking mind.
So when I said things like, this is really interesting
how the grandmother’s hands not only are a metaphor
for time, but are always busy, and now still…

I did you all no favors. I wanted the hands
to be ground and stuffed in her own intestines
and shipped to Lisbon or Milan, to be ate
by a fat British tourist too sunburned to shit.
Get your grandmother out of the fucking kitchen,
get dad off the fucking couch and sauce
and send them together, in a Hearst, driving West
licking each others moles shiny as cow stones.
Do something for Christ’s sake, that isn’t something
we all know. Life is obvious, boring mostly,
and when we die there is nothing. Please,
send someone to Neptune in an ice-cream van
before you find yourself, old, almost dead,
and eternally inside a kitchen, in a poem
written by your idiot grandson.



Dustin Nightingale

The Moon


Stop writing about me.


Dustin Nightingale



The leaves fall 
like gassed Monarchs. 



Dustin Nightingale

Passive Aggressive


The i’s on the final notice
were dotted with little hearts.



DUSTIN NIGHTINGALE lives in Hartford, CT. where he teaches English.



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