John Dorsey

your sleeves rolled up
cigarette dangling from
your lower lip

as blood flows
down your arms
with pride

after a morning spent
banging a chainsaw
against the wind

through burning fields
of savaged oak
through the bones
of a briar patch

you tell your story
at the local fried chicken buffet
without bothering to exhale

“oh my gawd,”
you say

you just need
some fuel
for the fire.


JOHN DORSEY lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015,) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017). He is the current Poet Laureate of Belle, MO.