Poetry by DB Cox

supernatural fire

dim lights float
in cigarette smoke
a saxophone cuts
through the haze

like lightning
at sundown
screaming “fuck you”
to the sky

notes stumble chromatically
into impossible places
then somehow
slip out gracefully

a bebop poet
gone a little mad —
machine greased
with drugs & whiskey

to dull the edge
of feeling too much —
balanced on a ledge,
a terminal tightrope walker

lighting this murky space
with a supernatural fire
that burns for awhile
then goes cold

conjuring a vertigo
of living color
out of this black hole
of 3 a.m. sorrow
 

last chance motel

a run-down motel
clings to the shoulders
of a narrow highway

a blinking neon sign
shoots holes through the middle
of a mississippi night-

enfolded in the semi-darkness
of a lamp-lit room
a man leans over a table

etching straight-razor
phrases into the
pages of a hotel notepad

recounting hazy days
strung out behind
like empty boxcars

way past the possibility
of finding something
to count on

like
the orbit of the earth
around the sun

like
moon-swung oceans
guided by gravity’s hands

like
a lucky star to steer
his feet past lonely streets

that lead
to places like
this last chance motel-

where he sits, with pen in hand
a pistol on the table
& a bible in every room
 

searching for the door

night steps on stage
without fanfare-
an overlaid, underpaid lady
lingers at the intersection
of 12th street & absolute zero

distant-
like nobody can touch her
a high-stepper
with voodoo hips
perfume rising like a prayer
from her once retail body
lately relegated
to working the wholesale
side of the street-

hard-time hustler
with a face
like a city map folded
too many times-
sad eyes filled
with junk-sick rivers
she faces another night
made of waiting-

swaying in place
staring back
over her shoulder
as if she’s searching
for the door
she came in through

DB Cox is a blues musician/writer from South Carolina. His writing has appeared in Underground Voices, Sein Und Werden, Dogmatika, Thunder Sandwich, Dublin Quarterly, Aesthetica, Bonfire, Gator Springs Gazette, Heat City Review, Snow Monkey, Southern Hum, Southern Gothic and others.

He has had three chapbooks of poetry published: “Passing For Blue” (published by Rank Stranger Press), “Lowdown” and “Ordinary Sorrows” (published by Pudding House Publications). Main Street Rag recently published his first full-length poetry collection, “Empty Frames“.

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2 responses to “Poetry by DB Cox

  1. Been a big fan of DB’s work – keep it up, Donnie!

  2. Ms. Hayes,

    DB is one of our favorites too! His poetry is being showcased at http://www.outsiderwriters.org this week (They’re running ‘phantom in the machinery’ as five parts from Tuesday through Saturday. If you haven’t already, you should check it out!

    LT Editor

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