By Dan Leicht
Paul was very tall
and now I have his skull
that’s not what this poem is about at all
Relax it’s a replica
given to me as they were cleaning out the office of a surgeon
did it really belong to someone?
Paul is that you?
He wears my glasses as I write
at times I’ll glance at him to the left of the laptop screen
pretend he’s watching
interested in what it is I am writing “Care you hear about this line?”
I’ll ask. No reply. He keeps to himself, or is simply ignoring me.
Deep cavities stare out, jealous of the mug or can,
more often than not containing caffeine, some sort of personal buzz,
the elixir for the page,
Hemingway’s tactics aren’t for everyone,
is there anyone famous for tea yet? Read more ›
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More poetry available @ Spillwords
A few of my recent poems are available to read on Spillwords.com, along with a wide array of other poets as well.
A few of my most recent:
It started out as a song,
the one that happened to play
as he made that sharp turn around exit twenty-five
on their first date. She was passing through the radio
stations not wanting to listen to a song
she’d heard before, she wanted a new experience,
something out of a fairytale to pass into her ears. Slowly
the song started, a trembling, lonesome, guitar,
frantic fingers speaking through the strings. They both became
lost and he almost missed
the exit; they were late for their dinner reservation.
He pulled the wheel to the right,
hand over fist; it felt as if the car were on two wheels;
then he pulled back the other way, straightening out
in a fear induced panic, the wheel of the car like the strings of the guitar,
slipping through his fingers yet under his total control.
It was a song that rarely ever gets played on the radio,
a song that comes only once every few years by request,
a song that sticks with you forever.
©Dan Leicht 2017
By Dan Leicht
There was something eerie about the lone crate
tucked into the corner of the room. He entered
his new cramped apartment, placed his boxes down, uncertain
what might have been left for him by the previous tenant.
The crate was fitted with gold trim, bound tightly by silver screws. In
one of his boxes was a toolkit his parents had given him
years prior, he’d since used it only once before to repair a kitchen chair
he ended up throwing out before moving.
From the toolkit he removed a screwdriver –
he then slowly approached the enigma;
he imagined ominous music filling the room.
He placed his screwdriver into the first screw on the top of the waist high crate.
The screw fell to the floor with a clank. As he began to remove the last screw
something in the crate moved. He stopped,
placed his other hand firmly on the crate,
placed his ear onto the wooden lid, listened.
A slow rhythm. Faint.
He lifted the lid slightly to peek in
and noticed glowing blue eyes. The last screw fell
to the pile on the floor. He pushed the lid off.
He peered down inside. It looked back at him.
Their eyes meeting one another. His heart sank –
he stepped back – he walked forward – he took in a deep breath –
placed his hands into the crate – the scaly skin was slimy – his grip loose –
it slipped –
he picked it up again – placed it on the kitchen table.
The two were bemused by one another.
It looked back at him as if smiling.
By Dan Leicht
He walked into the bookstore and took a match to the bookcase closest to the door. The first book to catch fire was written by a man who believed himself the best cook in all of South Dakota. The pages burned longer than the recipe called for, making them illegibale in the process. Marcus Silvo, the cook, would have been disappointed. His book did catch fire the rest of the shelf however, so even though his book wasn’t selling it was still having an impact.
Larry, the shopkeep with a glass eye, pulled in a long breath and let out a deep sigh. “Bonkers,” he uttered. Larry’s mother had used that word in place of swearing when he was a child and it stuck. The forty-two-year-old former car salesmen broke the glass and finagled with the fire extinguisher. By the time he figured out how to use it three firemen had broken his front door and put out the flames with a two-hundred-foot hose. The bookcase fire was put out but the floor looked like a makeshift aquarium. Larry once had a goldfish he’d won at a ring toss game at the carnival that lived five years.
Twirling the pack of matches between his fingers, whistling a tune he’d heard eight times, he felt invincible. His life prior to that moment had been nothing but homework and home cooked meals; nothing had ever happened to pull him into the next moment with enough tenacity to grab the world like a meager plaything.
“Edmund,” said his mother, he’d just entered the house and removed his shoes. “Dinner is ready.” His hands still yearning, like a man who’d just won a fistfight, eagerly grabbed at the taco ingredients placed about the table.
“I saw a peculiar story on the news just now,” said his mother, her voice bold.
“Oh yeah?” replied Edmund.
“That bookstore where Kristen works was visited by a pyromaniac.”
“Was she there when it happened?” he asked, pretending to be concerned.
“Edmund,” his mother said, her brow aimed down at her plate. “You can’t blame her for everything.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He pushed his chair away from the table and excused himself to his bedroom. Alone he sifted through a book on his desk consisting of other way he might get Kristen’s attention. While dragging his finger across each line of page sixteen he was distracted by a succession of pebbles at his window.
“Edmund! Edmund! Edmund, open the damn window!” He closed the book and lifted the wooden window frame. Standing in his backyard was Kristen in a dark blue hooded sweatshirt, torn up jeans and soccer cleats. “If you were trying to get my attention you have it now,” she said. “My mom told me about the fire at the bookstore.” Her voice was insincere, but Edmund was happy just to see her face.
“You suck,” he replied. He pushed the window down and latched it shut.
Dan Leicht 2017©
The time Jeremy ran into a burning building to save a lobster
By Dan Leicht
It was no ordinary Wednesday evening when Jeremy found himself standing in front of a lawn chair store. The weather was nipping at his nose, turning it red, perhaps even a bit shiny. He was enamored with the relaxing lawn chairs on display in the window. “I’d sit right there and eat a hotdog,” he said aloud to no one because he was alone outside wearing sandals with socks on in thirty degree weather.
In his mind, the world of imagination his pediatrician warned him about, he was picturing a world where he could sit back in the chair and crack open a refreshing bottle of ranch dressing. He’d be enjoying the sun as trolls stopped passersby (since he lives next to a bridge), all from the comfort of a brand new duck-print lawn chair with detachable cup holder and attached headrest.
“Stop drooling on the window,” warned the manager as he stepped out from the establishment to lock the door. “You should try actually coming in one of these days and sit in the chair to give it a try.”
“Someday,” Jeremy replied, his fingers caressing the glass as the shopkeeper rolled his eyes and walked away. On his way back home Jeremy took his usual route, which lead him right past the old abandoned flammable liquids factory. There was a sign next to the factory that read, in big red letters, “HOT STUFF IN HERE, KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING?”. He knew, he knew all too well. The building had been closed for years now and every time he passed by he thought about that fateful night.
The time Jeremy played the accordion at an aquarium
By Dan Leicht
It was 1938 and tickets to the aquarium cost only a nickel and a smile. Waiting in line, alongside an elongated suitcase, was Jeremy, the golden child of Harvey’s Hardware. His hair was slicked back and his suspenders held up his brown knee-high pants.
“Are those pants meant for children?” asked a woman in line.
“I’ve had these here pants since I was a wee lad,” replied Jeremy. “I’ve had too many adventures in these pants to give up on them just yet.” The woman raised her eyebrows and pursed her lips. She didn’t approve of his sense of fashion. Her elegant lavender cape fluttered in the wind behind her, slapping an elderly man in the face. The elderly man’s name was Reginald, but that’s not important to the story.
“One ticket please,” said Jeremy, once at the front of the line. He gleamed a smile, but seeing the facial expression of the ticket clerk assured him the money should do just fine. With ticket in hand he entered the aquarium ready to be dazzled by the world of the ocean floor. The walls, the ceilings, in some cases even the floors, were covered with what looked like green wallpaper. Every few feet there were small fish tanks with some goldfish swimming about. Read more ›