Three Poems by John Lowther (Plus Beaudin’s Birthday Poem)


No act.
No win, no fee.
Run while you still got legs.
I live in what I would describe as a creepy town of zombies.
Worthwhile experimentation in contemporary poetry suffers the same fate as the service in tourist restaurants.
To return to Spinoza, the situation is no doubt one in which the masses — or a multitude — has sunken into what he calls “sadness,” in which the negative aspect prevails.
Maybe if you’re a sex toy reviewer, we might be able to send you some freebies.
Product will be hot after heating.
Boy clothes are boring.


“Marxism no longer corresponds to reality,” says man in giant hat who speaks to invisible cloud people.
Sometimes you have to speak your mind rather than mind your speech.
Today, they married me to a man I have not yet met.
Any man forgets his number spends a night in the box.
Every man should own at least one dress — and so should lesbians.
You are a man who believes in the market and in the power of competition to drive up quality.
Being is essentially alien and strikes against us.


A friend of mine is just posing.
We are all sexual proletarians.
All the nuns, three altar boys, two priests and a goat stood up.
Meth-ring priest enjoyed cross dressing, ‘bizarre sex toys’ in his rectory.
He looks over everyone else’s shoulder and persuades everyone that he has no shoulder.
I doubt many would have a problem if it were only used in the way you think it is used.
This is a struggle over life and death, but the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.

John Lowther’s work appears in The Lattice Inside: An Atlanta Poets Group Anthology (UNO Press, 2012), Another South: Experimental Writing from the South (U of Alabama, 2003), and in Held to the Letter, co-authored with Dana Lisa Young (Lavender Ink, forthcoming). He’s writing a dissertation on psychoanalysis, queer theory and the beyond of our fantasy of dimorphic sex & gender.


Birthday Poem, 2015

A gray morning of crows
& trees tapping the window
with a crimson bud like a thimble
on each finger, playing horse

Then a robin churrips unseen
sounding like every spring morning
of childhood &
gray gives way to blue …

For a few hours anyway
until gray returns
“with a vengeance” we would say
if the sky were human

Nothing of the earth
knows that cowardly habit
& gray just does what it does
threatens rain without threat

But it does bend my plan
of walking by the river
into a glass of Malbec
at the Owl

It does bend my plan
of throwing on some shorts
into feeling the edge of 47 winters
cutting to the bone

But don’t get me wrong:
It feels as good as sunshine,
as a glass of wine in an afternoon bar,
as this silly Beach Boys song

spilling from the jukebox
like a chorus of birds

Marc Beaudin is the poetry editor of CounterPunch. His new travel memoir with poetry, Vagabond Song: Neo-Haibun from the Peregrine Journals, will be published this summer by Elk River Books. More at

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