The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Kenneth Pobo

Of the Guys


I swallow nine drinks
in an hour. They throw shoes at me.
If I’m one of the guys, I’ll be fine.
I’m often not fine. I want to fit in
like a basketball through a hoop.

I need a girlfriend. That’s part
of the package. Not a boyfriend.
They’d reject me. Having a girl
is like wearing the right kind of deodorant.
You give off the right smell.

I’m lonely
and I don’t like to read. These guys
would be my friends, maybe
for life. Not much lasts

through life. Mostly it’s just playing
a video game and going to bed.
I guzzle the booze. They sit on my legs.
I show no pain.



Kenneth Pobo



My Sunday school teacher
brought in a velvet board.
Biblical cut-outs did velvety deeds
while I secretly listened through
a wire in my transistor radio
to the Mamas and the Papas
sing “Words of Love” (dear Cass)—
velvet Jesus walked on velvet water
and Paul saw velvet light
on a road to Damascus.

I came home from church,
the sidewalk hard and bumpy.
The sun hammer
nailed light into my eyes.




KENNETH POBO has a new book out from Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City.  In September Grey Borders Press will publish his chapbook called Dust And Chrysanthemums.  His work has appeared in: Hawaii Review, Nimrod, Mudfish, The Queer South anthology, Colorado Review, and elsewhere.



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