Yellow Mama Archives II

Richard Le Due

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

A Short Poem for a Long Trip


by Richard LeDue


I will probably never travel

further than this page,

where white reminds me of Himalayan snow

and words are tracks too easily

filled back in, as if existence a lie

told by a guide to impress tourists,

who believe they're missing something

they can't find at home.




A Failed Love Poet


by Richard LeDue



Love poems don't care about your broken tooth

or how you have to drive three hours

to have it fixed, love poems

don't stay awake, worried

about the possible blood clot

in your leg, love poems don't ask

the pharmacist their opinions

on the best diaper rash creams,

where the Metamucil is located,

what multivitamin is preferable

for a six-year-old boy who only eats

six or seven different foods

(having said “banana” once,

only to never say it again),

and love poems don't

pay the dentist bill with a credit card,

the raising prices reminding us

how low we feel when we realize

most love poems go unread

because the audience more concerned

with a developing cavity than

the smeared heart blood left on a page.

August 24, 79 CE


by Richard LeDue



They say brains became black glass

from the heat of Mount Vesuvius that day,

and I imagine imaginations

going dark,

while memories of unsaid love

became even more fragile,

but maybe that sort of death wasn't the worse—

creating the realest afterlife,

but only for grey brain matter

that fired thoughts like lightning,

always believing itself to be more like Zeus

than the neighbour, who's only thunder

came from yelling at his wife

and smashing another bottle against the wall.

A Not-So Brilliant Poem


by Richard LeDue



Fame is a fart

we should be too polite

to acknowledge—

it is a stench disguised as Miss America,

trying to fool nostrils

into believing they can blink,

but being average is the real rose:

the most glorious blooming

we sell too cheap

just to wither in a vase that cost more

than this poem ever will.

Something Bigger


by Richard LeDue



A poem about tiny bugs

(who survive on spilled honey,

just out of sight

on the top shelf of the cupboard)

could say something bigger

than my own inadequacies

as a housekeeper,

but too many of us admire clean floors

and how we could eat off them

if the occasion called for it.






by Richard LeDue


The price of milk has gone up—

another ingredient in inflation's recipe,

and I'm sure the lactose intolerant

are laughing behind bathroom doors,

trying so damn hard

not to be heard, although

no one is even listening,

while cows probably feel more important,

like a grocery clerk making fifty cents

more than minimum wage

because it helps a necktie sleep.

A Reason to Put the Rent Up


by Richard LeDue


A DNA test to prove who

let their dog crap on the landlord's lawn

is enough to silence a broken dishwasher

or the doctor's bill for a sore back,

while rent goes up quietly

among typed words on a white page,

and your anger goes unheard among indifferent faces

that would become more interesting

underneath paper bags,

but if you were to light them on fire

it would be no prank, but a crime

used to sell more newspapers

or bait more clicks

as your lawyer checked their phone,

deaf to the real guilty.

Giving Up on Hope


by Richard LeDue


Hope can live inside someone

like a mouse chewing wires,

only to cause a fire

when it's least expected,

ruining some, while leaving others

feeling lucky

because they knew when to get out.




Whatever Is Inside of Us


by Richard Le Due



Wolves watch from a safe distance,

making no myths about the religious implications

of eating a person and their soul,

while a passing raven has more reverence

for a twig shaped like a wing bone

than the way warm breath dances

with cold air, proving whatever is inside of us

smart enough to try and escape,

especially as our tracks go in circles

because we're too stubborn to admit

we're lost.



Beer and Love Songs on a Wednesday Night


by Richard Le Due



The father in another county

as the teenage mother

doesn't even have a nun

squeezing her hand,

whispering about God's plan,

how adoption could be salvation,

and she'll still listen to those same songs

about love afterwards,

except now she'll notice

the twenty-something rock stars

don't seem as good a match

for someone who's 16,

and the engagement ring

she threw back at him

says more about love than those songs,

and his smug hello years later

when she worked as a waitress

(even though she went back

for her grade 10 after dropping out)

caused her to go home and get drunk

says more about love than those songs,

while the half sister I met three times

seemed nice enough

for a stranger.

After I Turned 40


by Richard LeDue


The Beatles and ice-cold beer

turned into ghosts I learned to live with,


but the dead voices sounded

more alive than teeth, chattering

like a cheap joke prop,

except it was conversations

about inflation, the right

time of day to floss,

how much salt to add to soup,

and the best way

to cook steak,


which at least, all makes life

seem simple enough sometimes,


like fixing a hot day

by eating an entire box of lime jello,

while the sidewalks crack,


as if they were young once

and believed in love songs.


The alarm clock


by Richard LeDue


tells me the time

with numbers red as a cardinal,

but its song is static

because I despise the alarm

screeching like an owl

using my darkness

to swoop down,

peck away parts of me,

making my blood turn white,

leaving behind bones

more than capable of 95,

sleeping in the weekends,

Monday after Monday,

January after January,

until years decay into decades,

so that living only gets in the way.

Sentimental Love Poems Shown to No One


by Richard LeDue


No one can stop you

from closing your eyes

and dreaming of a dead face

from some childhood film noir

you don't remember the name of,


and even if you can't make love

to a shadow,

you still write love poems

on the back of weekly grocery lists

that you always forget at home,


and even though the meat manager

asks how you are,

you'll lie and let your broken heart

find camouflage among ground beef

until a new cashier smiles at you,

ruining all that pain

that made your life comfortable.

Richard LeDue (he/him) lives in Norway House, Manitoba, Canada. He has been published both online and in print. He is the author of seven books of poetry. His latest book, Everyday Failure, was released from Alien Buddha Press in October 2022.

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