yellow journalism by Keith S. Wilson


a good joke begins with a lie.
catching myself naked like a runaway

in the mirror, it is
the bird of my father’s body.

his place, lessened.
more open, more light.

just before the beasts
knew that they would drown, bare laughter

from the dove’s wings.
is this what my mother saw?


from littleness, i told stories.
a litany saved me

from pouring blacktop in kentucky
like my father.

slipping like a feather
in it. i’d be less

a dreamer, dad. think of how close
we’d have become.


another limping complicated animal,
the sky.

this hoghouse called a home.
the tourguide chirping.

this plantation will live forever
like a liar

or a cricket from under the stairs.
i am an alien. my father is at home.

visitors are welcome
to come in period appropriate dress she says.

dad, take off your shirt.
i’ll go fetch the chains


This poem was a Runner up for the RHINO 2015 Founder's Prize.