Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Why I’m not coming home

the boy’s own scrapbook

high jump a copperhead chase cows cross country   carry a dead skunk down the grassy lane throw up at the finish   lose another race with death to your grandmother’s house   fumble the snap you got nothing   hum baby hum throw your father a curve   put your dukes up circle the room   make a free throw the crowd goes wild     Barry Basden lives […]

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They Say You Finally Have to Forgive Everything

They Say You Finally Have to Forgive Everything My uniformed father’s smile resembles the Mona Lisa’s, as unknowable to me as ever, his cheeks rouged like some downtown whore’s by an assistant in the backroom of the All-American Studio 40-odd years ago. They say there may have been another woman and a child–my half-sister. Still over there somewhere. I’ve found out things, but never a hint about them. I take […]

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Awakening to Mourning

Awakening to Mourning   “There’s nothing good about goodnight when it means goodbye.” ― Jeff Thomas Dad worked at the Atlantic-Richfield refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. On the morning of August 16th, 1963, when I was thirteen, he left for work before I awoke. I never saw him again, except in photographs and memories. Neither of us knew that last “good-night” was our last. There was an explosion at the […]

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