Joy Wilson Parrish – Two Poems

img_2946Joy Wilson Parrish was born in New England and has lived through out the United States.

Her essays, articles and poems have appeared in journals such as Rebelle Society, The Tattooed Buddha, Coffee and Sweatpants and The Galway Review.

Her first book of poetry, Sojourn, was published by Wildfire Publications in March 2016. She currently resides in Southwest Michigan and is working on her second book.


The man at the lectern, dapper in Armani
made from bank tellers, housekeepers and folding
money of every denomination.
His dimpled skin of Osage oranges,
fragrantly keeps the sand fleas and cucarachas away.
His voice is a choir of screeching manhole covers
singing into place over the country club sewer.
His grey-white teeth
are southern shotgun houses marching front to back,
standing guard on each side of that great, flabby, flapping tongue –
that scratching, rabid, mongrel tongue.
The man at the lectern has silver spoons for hands,
for scooping up women from newsrooms or the mail order catalogue,
leggy automatons
aren’t dirty refugees once he marries them,
and wipes away their sins on the unzipped trousers of his
political aspirations.


Because instead,
I lost myself beneath the dirty Bukowski fingers, imagining faceless women sucking madly at this and that,
I crawled under the words and sucked instead at line breaks-
appetite whetted.
And then with Ferlinghetti, as if constantly risking absurdity is a bad plan,
I walked the boardwalk, my craving for a dog and kraut overtaking my own need to write, the book in my pocket
safe from mustard markings.
Sated, returned to Ginsberg again and again, still not
doing my homework. America fucking owes me too. Dammit.
So then I dove back into Neruda, searching for that lost line and remembering instead the salty fingers, that broken heart and that other dark eyed boy named Pablo who read to me, made me feel
and then left me at the laundry mat, having stolen my clothes.
I then became the husky milk maid but set aside my chores
instead, folding myself into a sharp edged origami crane neatly tucked between the pages of a battered Pasternak. I spent the day.
When evening came, I emerged still hungry and still searching for that one line to spark and once again tripped.
On to Prelutsky where I ate all of that incessant rhyming that drives me fucking mad,
attempted to temper with goat cheese and mangos until I picked up Plath. I do not like Plath but I read on.
I did not write my Higgins poem.
I slurped words off of pages and licked them off my fingers instead.



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