My Gallery Days, 16 by John Amen


I lived like an anchorite on the lee side of kink,
Sigur Rós, Zarathustra & Kierkegaard’s leap,
libido on a binge & o yea Allison’s genius grant.

—her residency in Baltimore,
& how many times did I peddle blood
to satirize my family’s provincialism?

Accuse her all you like of imitation,
she defended her “Red & Green Docks of Reeding”
all the way to the Whitney in September.

O come on, you remember Allison;
she’s ash now on 109th—others did worse,
ventriloquists on forever methadone, their abstracts

sold for change @ yard sales in Bellmore & Syosset,
the years pass like nodding on Coney Island.


JOHN AMEN is the author of five collections of poetry; most recently, strange theater (NYQ Books). His poetry, fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in journals nationally and internationally, and his poetry has been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. He founded and edits The Pedestal Magazine.