Michael Dwayne Smith

Michael Dwayne Smith proudly owns and operates one of the English-speaking world’s most unusual names. His poems and stories appear in BLIP Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, Phantom Kangaroo, and other convenient locations. He lives in a desert town with his wife, son, and many rescued animals—all of whom talk in their sleep. He can be conjured using the spell “michael.blackbear@gmail.com”

Family

It’s amateur night at the Headless Horseman.
Gypsies and Indians careen to the floor,
bone-yard pairs in marigold,
dancing
and drunk, beat and hooting, their
hard faces
lifting in the yellow light
that bathes
the warp-wood platform, as next door
novena’s million candles
flicker in the weary apse
of Our Lady of Infinite Sadness.

Soon
the haggard band will disappear,
packing their
hoarse notes and dead-lover lyrics
into a creased
pickup truck,
speeding and jostling across
the pitch-bleak desert bed,
tossing bottles of beer
at hopes
that flit like rabbits in the road.

But for now the room is jump and smoke
and smile.
Julio and Nadine are back
together, Sal buys Jack
a whiskey, making up for last Thursday’s
busted nose.
Henry sputters near the juke,
hands clammy,
the flick of his tongue feeling like wet
carpet in his mouth,
while Jo Maria, dark and frowning as always,
pays him
all the attention in the world by paying
no attention to him at all.

How everyone needs
one another. How everyone
wants not to. How beautiful strange when
all our skeletons gather,
like family,
out here where coyote winds dog
the mid-June night,
while a distant wind-chime jitters,
shaking music
from the angry air.

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2 Responses to Michael Dwayne Smith

  1. Frank Foster says:

    Imagery, imagery, imagery!!! Your work is like watching a movie, rich in visual texture and full of life!

  2. Absolute perfection! It has been too long since I have been able to enjoy Michael’s verse.

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