Monthly Archives: April 2022

The Sucker

i found myself hooked on the casino
cleveland didn't have gambling for the longest
northeastern holierthanthou
with their antisin crusades
the same old song and dance
kept mgm at bay

but then the horseshoe took over the old higbees building
texas holdum
blackjack and floors of ding ding singing slots
at first
i stuck my snot nose up at the mess
saying that the tripe weren't for me
but a friend took me to the buffet and while we waited
for seating
put a quarter in a machine
lining them all up
gave me
two hundred and fifty bucks made my day

night after night pressing buttons looking for ladyluck
to smile on me again
i won a lot and lost more
a blast
but hard on my wallet over three years
in the hole about ten thousand at least
but awarded diamond membership
parking and casino perks
teasing me
to live in the joint

a man i met at microcenter
salesman i saw night after night too
he looked older and older to my eyes
sucked dry of his
sales commissions grew a beard
looking rough and unkempt

i feltsorry for him until i looked in the mirror
and looked rough like him
with crazy eyes
he died after a year
i stopped going
lost my diamond membership
so i wouldnt

2.5 10/10
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson 
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Posted by on April 30, 2022 in Poetry


The Christmas Card

did you ever see someone so striking
you were magnetically drawn to them
that took place when i walked out the
safeway supermarket that day

i was stranded in hawaii after three months of job training
on my bottom dollar
went to the store
to buy a coke
february nineteen-eighty-two

dripping from the ninety-degree island
strolling the steaming cement sidewalk
complaining to myself
whimpering within
begging for an answer for marching orders
like praying please send me a messenger

felt abandoned by friends not even
a christmas card the past holidays not even
a card to say thinking of you

i wasnt embracing
the suck

from the cashier coke in hand
leaving near the entrance grocery baskets
an elder lady stuffing plastic bags
into her hip dress pockets puffed out like a mountie
looked like a bag-lady
her lizard-like skin leathery orange from the island sun

i said hello
asking her how's the day
and asked if she were looking
for hand to her car

she said no
but you do
then fixing me
with her smiling gaze
we exited the glass doors side by side

(( i don't have family or friends in hawaii
just a hoale mainlander
visitor from ohio for the short training camp
but no air ticket back ))

but this elder lady told me all about myself
as we walked the length of the store's parking lot
she told me details of my whining soliloquy
while footing to the safeway
an hour past
like she were listening on my shoulder in my head
to my self-talk

i swooned as if having a panic attack
found it hard to catch my breath
she saw like a window inside my head
i mouthed asking how how
but i only gasped with lips quivering

she put her finger to my lips and said shush
you can't even begin to understand
how i've walked with you from birth
she told me of the whole sweep of my history
everything she said true - spot on

we came to her car
blue model thirty years out of date
a birdcage in the back seat
sat her wide frame down into that small car
me still standing eyes wide in partial shock
rolled down the window and said

turn around oneeighty i did
don't even peek i didn't
turn back i did

she smiled with an envelope in hand for me
don't read this until i'm out of here

turn around again
i did as she commanded
waited... waited...
no sound of the blue car's engine turning over
i wouldve heard
the ears were seriously listening

after a while i looked over the shoulder
the car just vanished
no drivers were leaving the lot
i looked at a distance
just empty exit roads
but the envelope still in my hand
tore it and inside

a christmas card
baby jesus held by mother mary
her writing inside
remember me

3.5 10/10
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson    
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Posted by on April 29, 2022 in Poetry


Going Bananas

captain cook
went to the hawaiian islands
in the seventeen-seventies

he originally called them
the sandwich islands
after the earl of sandwich

with the europeans,
the islanders looked at the ships
the iron implements
with ideas
to obtain some for themselves

captain cook and crew were like-the-gods
trading their sex and jewels with the crew
for cook's iron nails and trinkets

but when cook landed the bigisland
the 2nd-time
the islanders saw cook and crew
taking a siesta eating bananas

this gave them cognitive-indigestion
for the gods don't eat food

the third landing in seventeen-seventy-nine
the polynesians killed cook and crew
on the shore of kealakekua bay
during the festival to the fertility god lono

i saw the monument saying
this the spot captain cook fell

cook didn't die for eating bananas

but for lying to the polynesian people
pretending he was god
skinning them for sex
and jewels

just as some (some not all)
televangelists and politicians
overawe the gullible people today
pretending they are sent from above
skinning millions
out of their money and brains

two hundred and fifty
years after cook

wake up
they eat bananas 

2.2 10/8
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson

Posted by on April 28, 2022 in Poetry


Limbic Lucidity

when the music ribbons
the limbic edges
the hours of the night
into the wee morning
only you can descale my eyes
face-lines are
the true chart
to the tycho of the child's smile
revolving past my lunar dark side

the spiraling walled path is
hemmed by bogs
of those empty years
you were not
snaking the roots of the night
shadows elongate
but then
de vine clings true
making the granite

another climb to the mossy bed
at the foot of the knife-inscribed beech tree
if we just...if we
sinking in quagmire
of breath
but only as i
lost you

you became the night eclipsed
from the light

but my leaves
are still dotted
with dewdrops 


3.3 9/7
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson

Posted by on April 28, 2022 in Poetry


Crazy Haunted John

john drank beer
smelled like a brewery
we walked from the highway
to the fish sanctuary
at captain cooks monument
on the bigisland of hawaii
near the plantations for kona coffee

we snorkeled looking at zebra fish
angelfish starfish kaleidoscopic colors
saw a spotted openmouth wideeye creature staring up
from rocks on the kealakekua bay's ocean bed

john the former marine drunk nutcase
three-prong speared the staring head
part of a hidden eight-foot snakelike body wrapping
around the shaft of the spear
snapping to bite him

in the end crazy john killed it and cooked it on shore
with breadfruit and coconut delish
like roast chicken (though feeling guilty, i tasted it)

but the ghost of the moray eel
together with captain cook's barnacled shade
and numerous hawaiian deity haunt
crazy john the rude beer drinker with the DTs
biting him in the arse
for unhallowing their sanctuary

4.3 10/10
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson    
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Posted by on April 28, 2022 in Poetry



the beast looms over land and sea
like a simulacrum of a giant raptor made of
hundreds of darkiron birds
the green ocean foams dark gray the shadow of
fire spitting wings the light flees flames rise
as the poison tipped feathers fly inland from
the floating ocean aeries
silence then sirens
along the black sea coast the flapping
as the guided droppings fall
bodies charred on the street
trembling pinned under rubble
buildings gutted the smoke of hell
a teddybear mourns near a black body bag
teardrop crusted running dogs homeless
as the carrion bird with the head of a bear
appetite the size of countries
eyes western skies
the beast of the desolate

won't stop

4.0 10/10
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson    
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Posted by on April 28, 2022 in Poetry



the trees are truncheon sentinels
inhaling the green from the sun's prism stare
their branches sky hangars
for departing and arriving aerobat

the panoply of siesta terminals for shufti wings
twig hands spinning emerald palms
drop mission helicopters

chiasmus liminal bridges
spraddle the sienna land and blue seas
heliotrope rhizomatous sundials
rangy from the core

trees creaking out woodwind songs
arrangements by the blowing minstrels
the swaying abstruse voice
of earth

3.7 10/10
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson    
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Posted by on April 27, 2022 in Poetry



a tanned boy in brown trunks on the beach
like a dead fish washed up on the shore
a few people standing around stare
at a boy dead from surfing
hit the breakwater wall
on the beach flat
young face statue-still
body bronzed well-muscled
looked at by the blase
scratching their heads
most vacationers just walk on by
shutting out the scene from their eyes
shaking their heads
takes the police an hour to arrive
pick up the beach litter
put the stiff in a truck
expressionless faces
the print of the boy in the sand

russia put many corpses on the ground today
so did ukraine
lifeless bleached dolls litter the ground
dressed in slacks and leather shoes
hands tied behind their backs
blood-prints in the shape of nameless bodies
thrown in trenches
some onlookers scratch their heads
some shake them side to side
all walk away

2.8 10/10
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson
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Posted by on April 27, 2022 in Poetry


Providence In Paradise

waikiki beach resonates the ocean's roar
spear fish that night but swimming close to shore
now and then, a warning shout of shark
paddling back to sand from the ocean's dark

by three prong spears, our bags full of fish
the locals begin to fabricate a large wooden dish
from flat dry planks, found washed up on the beach
the fire's lit, the hawaiian friends to teach

old coconuts tinder from their stringy husks
as dry fuel, the fire quickly starts
fish are cleaned laid across the driftwood planks
that the coconut-husk fire made into hot plates

roasting fish odors scent the ocean air
thirsty, but they didn't bring the beer
our teachers show how the coconut is drained
with a whipping crack, milk pours out like the rain

fish and coconut water sate us like paradise
the siesta near the fire with smiles on our face
the hosts tell us their stories how the island is alive
and how they've utilized the palm tree to thrivingly provide

4.5 10/10
© 15 minutes ago, Brian Peter Hodgkinson 
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Posted by on April 27, 2022 in Poetry


Crossing Over The Equator

i flew dutch airlines to kakamega kenya
at the age of twenty eight
near lake victoria in east africa
took twenty-two hours to relocate

from the nairobi airport to kakamega
driving five hours by landrover
through the pot-holed roads of kenya
seeing giraffe and herds of zebra

i lived among the luyia tribe
they adopted me as their own
stayed for twenty years, though from ohio
but now share a distant home

i've another loving family
five thousand miles to the east
we see beyond our skins and nationality
we share together our global feast

2.3 10/8
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson   
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Posted by on April 26, 2022 in Poetry