Three Poems by Anthony Liccione



Success is never


only practiced,

time plays the part mostly.

It takes a failing will

to try again,

the will to fail

to remain humble.


It’s the failure

people are prone to,

when dreams

finally fail them,

and go unwished.

Ceased to be as dust.


The infamous statue

that leans in the closet

against the concrete

of darkness,

where a stream of light

resurrects from the key



still never reaching for

the doorknob

to turn a life alive.




Best Friend


The jaw quivering,

body limp and trembling

on the concrete street,

tail between his legs

that use to swing

to Jack Links,

this is how Moonlight left

me that awful morning.


Backyard holes and chewed

up bowls,

he was never street smart

to passing cars,

he escaped digging a hole

under the fence

and ran as a free man

set from prison.

A red ball in the middle

of a sewer hole,

swayed back and forth;

he really loved to play


The car was nowhere

to be found,

only the tire marks

before impact, reversing

and going on again.


That night

I awaited for his barks

that came sporadically

in the cold backyard,

barks that chased shadows

and trees, or squirrels

that scurry in the dark.

This time the trees stayed

to shift and the same highwire

that swung hitting against

the utility pole,

when the wind would pitch.

A path on worn away grass

running from the left yard

to right.


The moon casting a slight

soft light onto the dog house,

where he stayed sleeping

inside the entrance hole,

buried in the ground.


And lives will pass,

like a train of clouds

slipping through revolving


never returning

the same as they came.






I took the dummy

from under the bed,

the same one

he use to throw

a voice to

when we were children,

and how we would

laugh at the him

stupor with drunkeness,

until the seams came

undone, our mouth.


I folded the dummy

into eight sections,

creasing its legs

inwardly and criss-

crossing the arms

tight around the back

as a stray jacket grip,

and stuffed him

in a banana box.

It was looking

at me with eyes

glazed plastic,

the anthropoid mouth

heavy in silence.

I placed the top on

and dragged it

up to the attic,

where the dust

and cobwebs

settled him in.


I decided to pay

him a visit.

The way

to his room 

was white and

sanitary peaceful,

the smell of medicine

and Lysol clung to


Faces were scattered

abroad, lost

fastened to windows

doorways and televisions.

Some green

others in blue and

white scrubs.

Some laughing

as I passed by a room,

listening to Muffat

and not knowing it.


A woman sat caressing

her dolls,

changing the dirty

diapers of her past.

When we reached


the door opened

and I stepped in.

We sat staring at

each other for some


no words exchanged.

I told him of

the crows

outside flying about, and

how there was many

circling a frenzy

blackness above.

He began to deaf

his ears with a pillow

of dead feathers.


I told him I found

Mr. Knots,

do you remember

the puppet you played

with us?

He looked back with

glazed eyes

and we fell into

silence again.


He then walked

to the window

and started to pull

the strings

of the blinds,

opening and closing

them untimely,

the room repeatedly

fell from dark to light

almost mechanically,

he went and hid

himself under the bed.




Anthony Liccione lives in Texas, but his heart resides in New York.

His poetry has appeared in SNReview, Underground Voices, My Favorite

Bullet, Plum Ruby Review, Paperwall, Zygote In My Coffee, Bolts of Silk 

and others. His latest book Please Pass Me, the Blood & Butter

is available at Lulu.



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