Two Poems by John Deming

Elephants at Dawn
for Graeme Bezanson

Graeme, there are elephants in the midtown tunnel, 
a coyote on the roof of a bar in Queens,
a snowy owl in a tree on Governors Island,

a hawk on the roof of a Dyckman Street diner 
eating a rat. Four people gawk at the scene, 
which is grotesque—

“not for the bloody violence,”

one says,
“but because this fit-looking bird
is swallowing up pieces of an unwashed city rat.” 

After you left for France, a flea from a New York rat

Into The Microverse

Not Meta. Better

I tried to express what I feel about you 
in one line.
It took two.

Ed seemed to slip on some dog poop 
Landing smack on his arse
That Ed, what a gas, a performer with class, 
His timing was tiptop, hilarious
Ed entering his Doom Loop, 
That’s what this was.

Four Poems


The love of truth shines brighter than the Sun.

Poets, look further on,
Yet heed the signs of your humanity.

Open your arms to those who quake with fear. 
Their love is warm as a golden hearth,
Taking in the wind
And bursting with veracity.

Your life is lived when you make it so,
And should you try the wistful ascent
To greatness,
Look not behind you at those who fall
But seek to hold the ones who come up with you.

Four Poems

Paid by the New York Public Library

It was late summer.

I had very little money left after bills, medication, etc.

I had been having incredible back pain to add to my chronic ear pain.

I took the train to Grand Central.

Walking to my pain specialist.

Here in America even if chronically ill and disabled somehow they force you to make a personal appearance at the doctor office once a month.

Routine torture.

Often to see the Dr. only for seconds then electronically email your prescription to the pharmacy.

Four Poems

Is There Anything More Punk Than Mayakovsky?

Could there be anything more punk than Mayakovsky, anyone 
More punk? Could there be?
Has anyone ever been more punk, gone more
No wave than he?

Darkest glare, eyes lost as Johnny Thunders’, stance 
as foreboding as Richard Hell, Voidoid, Heartbreaker, TV. 
Lived his dissidence, revolution 
In ways unforeseen.

Bug Killing Season


I set out to write about lantern flies but 
like so many things they won’t be an issue
much longer until they spring up from the 
ground next july like perennials there’s 
nothing to be done about the lantern fly

when it comes inside your house and lands 
atop your lunch you may swat it off crush it 
with your book squeeze its body between a 
paper towel until the wings stop fluttering but 
a billion black and white on crimson little

Loyal Royal

I write a love poem on Royal
That actually says something about love

I write it not to pluck loose-lotto-scratch from athleisure pocket lint But to deliver all those years of pent-up afterbirth

We can put it up at the gallery you work at now
All Ostara pastels with an umbrella rack full of staves: Molasses dryads carved with wizened faces
that dangle beards of tasseled charms

Ode to My Burning Bath

I’ll never 
tell men what I think
while the ink
on our check dries
next to the meringue plate 
and he asks me to come over 
while I eye the acrylic or is it porcelain
and I’m burning for
my best position:

curved back, 
bowed head, legs 
lightweight and hugged by
arms pressed into torso just like I’m back 
in mother’s womb if a womb 
were rectangle.
My disappearing 
dress tears and crumbles 
like we did into a