sorry i didn’t call

couldn’t force myself to

pick . . up . . that . . fucking phone

should’ve done that

on the weekend

but i’ve gotten through this

shit before


didn’t work this time

timing is everything

right? wrong

like so much

in the world

and in my head

which finally triggered

that alarm

in the heart

slammed the doors

and locked the exits


don’t worry about me

punching walls

crawling in holes

and hanging

with john barleycorn

are the limits

of my self-



sorry to let you down

but the ship

was taking on water

and i couldn’t bail

fast enough

life rafts

were deployed


nothing worse

than being the focus

of a drama offstage

what i want most

is an audience

who loves me

and my poems


i know you

have been down

this dead end

road old friend

failing to rise

to the challenge

of selling yourself

in the name of cold

cash and credibility


so please give

my love and regrets

to those i know

i left in the lurch

like you i am just

one more lost fool

searching the dark-

hearted wilderness

           —for Sheryl Noethe


Mark Gibbons

July 2017

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