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Brian Rosenberger
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Expectations

Brian Rosenberger

Charlie,

Chuck to his friends

not that he had many

a collector of shadows

a dark child

vows forsaken

insanity the exit

Charles accepted

and sauntered through.

Legion behind the headlines

Population one plus multitudes

a hearse full of imaginary friends

promises broken, then the scream

but sometimes the screams are silent.

The fakers, the mistakers, the life takers

who survives to tell the tale?

An inferno behind his eyes

pounding heart, accelerated pulse

lessons learned, an education

on the altar of sacrifice

hell or halo

for a bad, bad boy

a sacrifice to share the crown

Hell is not without heroes

Charlie, turned off the light

The tombstone still reads

“What the fuck are you looking at?”



Detour on the Street of Dreams

Brian Rosenberger


He dreamed of slaying turquoise dragons,

wizards robed in the fabric of twilight,

hell's marching legions and

barbarian hordes from lands unnamed,

hacking and slashing and carving

his own legend in the bodies of

imaginary adversaries

daring death

every time his

sword met the sky

instead

he was a tooth doctor,

unheralded and unheard of

destined for the ordinary

until he went to trial

headlines dubbing him

the Demon Dentist

and was sentenced to

a fate unbecoming

a warrior king


“Detour on the Street of Dreams” was originally published online in Night Shopping in 4/03.



Fears of a Clown

Brian Rosenberger


Hours after eating

the firebreather's homemade chili,

beneath rainbowed-streaked sheets,

as snug as fifteen fellow funny men

squished in the company car,

a clown dreams

confetti composed of nail clippings from infants

carcinogenic cotton candy

popcorn from radioactive kernels

Tunnel of Love plagued by disease

bumper cars with road rage

greasepaint removed by razor blade

a whoopee cushion with teeth

face-eating cream pies

seltzer replaced with acid

a hall of mirrors shattered,

lifetimes of bad luck

apes armed with assault rifles

a runaway Ferris wheel,

with passengers

elephants playing soccer with preschoolers

preschoolers playing patty-cake with grizzlies

the lion tamer in a pork chop suit

the sword swallower hiccups

the knife disobeys the knife thrower

a fortune teller who's always wrong

or always right

whoops echoing from the trapeze

followed by screams

the laughter stops

and the clown

dreams no more


“Fears of a Clown” was originally published in print Side Show 3/03



To the finish

Brian Rosenberger


The fighters, both relatively unknowns,

starving for a chance,

stare each other down

before the bell rings, unblinking.

Some local slut, nude

walks the skirt of the well-worn cage

flaunts her ample ass for applause

spoils to the survivor.

The crowd roars their approval

not that it’s needed.

The fighters know the score,

have the scars to prove it.

Barbed wire bites into bare flesh

and is wrapped tighter.

The crowd wants blood.

They’ll get it.



Brian Rosenberger lives in a cellar in Marietta, GA and writes by the light of captured fireflies. He is the author of As the Worm Turns and three poetry collections. The most recent is Scream For Me from Panic Press. For more information, visit http://home.earthlink.net/~brosenberger.  

In Association with Fossil Publications