Yellow Mama Archives II

Rp Verlaine

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
Flynn, James
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Glass, Donald
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.
Price, Liberty
Proctor, M. E.
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.
Stanley, Barbara
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Taylor, Richard Allen
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

Another New Year’s Encounter


by Rp Verlaine


Our lips meet by

accident in

a room with no doors


where strangers watch us 

grope through curses,

camouflaging want

with animal sounds


for nihilists, detached

as grave robbers,

eyes glowing in the dark


who watch until

leaving with

an emptiness filled


across a floor,

less a stage

than a prism asking for blood.


Our smiles, the lone hint

we’re enthralled being watched

by those who see nothing


deviates who

admire our sharp fingernails

on each other’s throats…


still seeking the distance

to somehow learn

how to let go.

Feeding The Voyeurs


by Rp Verlaine


She exhaled,

dying from boredom

money provided

in the dark void

drowning swimmers navigate.


Her open designer blouse

an invitation I’m sure

few resisted, beckoned  

as she whispered:

“take a closer look.”


With trouble in mind

her lips came forward

till I was aware of eyes

watching us, we laughed

and left them hungry.


Outside summer skies

all seemed like cotton

pale junkies inject from.

But while she talked

butterflies in me screamed.


Later I would miss

her shadow touching mine

and return to the bar

only to join those eyes

In the background watching.

The Indefinite Chance Machine


by Rp Verlaine


Like uncollected change,

the love she throws 

away in unnumbered

trysts with ghosts

of her past and

present become

the invisible game

of chance already

receding in



from sight

with illusory

reveal in the

walking shadows

of lovers leaving

her bed and her

again lost 

as the change 

and dust under it. 

After First Sex


by RP Verlaine


Even with knees

a little weak,



16 years old

give or take

a week


I seem to dance

my way



with feet

that barely touch




strumming the air



I truly hadn't known

I could


The New Same Goodbye


by RP Verlaine


Even with tears

larger than

the guilty rain,

to say goodbye

with faint praise

or skywriting

a particular moribund

thought of love’s

expiration date

miles high . . .

something will be lost.

Whispered kisses,

indiscreet postcards,

videos where faces

framed and lost

become you;

the director saying cut!

To all the pieces

of my heart left

not a particular

worthy gift

I might add/subtract

for our new goodbye.

A Casablanca ending

to remember how

careless time extends

all that was

walking to the airplane

you say that only

new beginnings

have no end.




by RP Verlaine

He came home
with three large trout
a better man than I.

Who had nothing to show
for three hours at the topless bar
but empty pockets.

Both of us smiling
having had a good day
we‵d both been lucky.

He in the last hour
having caught two of the three
now cooking in grill.

And I with the blonde
who pressed me so close
I forgot how to breathe.

Who danced with sin
having taken hold of her hips
while renting her smile.

‟Be careful with the bones‶
he said as we ate
‟they can do real damage.‶

‟Women do much worse‶
I said thinking of her lips
grazing mine so often.

I thought she meant it
but now I know what bait is
just like the fishermen.

As the tomcats outside
fight over scraps until
the winner eats alone.

I think of the dancer
exhaling cigarette smoke
saying she was lonely.

Lies a man believes
when he’s fishing for something
that long ago got away.

Three Years Ago


by Rp Verlaine

Was it waitressing?
Metaphor, coming closer
to her meaning . . .

net stocking legs
spread wide
when I paid the bill.
Or worse— was I just being

The answering machine
spit out the evidence

without giving a fuck.
She was ready

for her closeup.
Her last message said
that she'd gone to L.A.
to be an actress,
but now I know
she meant asterisk.

6 months later:

on the strip she meets
a pharmaceutical survivor
who slipped, and is now pushing
illegal powders in glycine.

Watching pachucos
drag evil

he talks to her,
seeing her flesh tattooed new
but flesh still clean
he says ‟actress,
ll get old here,
or disappear
in a third-rate chorus line
with every verse queer.

“Actress take this . . .”
The pimp says ‟actress, porn
films are the new art form
take this . . . take this

the pimp says ‟Actress
take this.”

3 months later:

she ties black belt to her arm
in the bathroom of a rented club.

Cool jazz music pulses inside
as the hypodermic
slides in before the
camera cuts.

The music
t stop as the actor
enters in her and the camera cuts,

but all she sees
is her blood
'til the rush
when the hypodermic

slides in.

A year later:

men dodge rain

into peep show heaven,
slamming quarters to see
videos, see her
repeat disintegration,
repeat fade to black.

While outside, her eyes scan
cars, L.A. police cruisers she
s been
behind bars in topless, nude
as police patrol heresies
from the dreams of its gutter evacuees
her soul
s devoid of magic
s turning tricks
not quickly enough
the pimp
s rear view sees.

Even later:

Baby, I never wanted this poem,
baby I never wanted this
poem, yours.
But nobody called off
the drug assassins, who fed your flesh
to the creditors or the cheap heretics
who celebrated Mass by creating
their own, worshiping you.

'Til your blood
was cheaper than the wine
and every derelict pissed
a thousand stray trails
that all led back to you.


police says
‟Did you know this OD?

to pimp or dealer on strip.

His eyes glow dark
as the coat hanger marks
her corpse detailed.

t know the bitch”
voice trails like
too evil to die.

t know the bitch

says ‟No, No, No.

And I say
No, neither
did I.


Again, A Bike Left

by RpVerlaine


In the middle of a road

owned by an 8-year-old

who goes missing.

True horror


begins as hours

disappear vanishing

into darkness as

do any trace of

a pretty 8-year-

old girl later

found in

the woods in


a park, river,


lake or ditch,


months or

years later

in skeletal

remains all

over America

and all the world

this ungodly sphere

of rage and chaos.

Short Cuts to Madness

by RpVerlaine


Neither mortal or

its far opposite

I wake up wanted in Texas

to text messages

brief as a eulogy

by a hanging judge

on the ropes like me

with guilt weighing heavy

on speed dial . . .


In my mind I hear

her footsteps on stairs

as I counted each one

until I ran out of


A wild one she was/is

an untamed touch of madness

bringing color to our film noir

escapades framed by sweet

crime sprees of love & treachery.


I call the airport

ask about Texas.

Soon I have wings

to fly and later

when taxi driver asks—where to?

I say “I'm headed

somewhere that I know

lies between disaster

and regret, but if

you've got a shortcut

take it.”

Ingrid Leaves Vegas

by Rp Verlaine


Begins our long

catch-up call with

“Bill's call

never came like

a ghost fucking

a dream.


All a tease for

a wired cash loan

to pay a lawyer

I'd been had and left with no money.”


“What a wanker, did you . . .”


“There I was, No sex

and stranded. Fuck me!

I teased the kitty

with a Japanese toy

I keep for emergencies.”


“But did you . . .”


The batteries dying but

it worked well enough.

Despite the dry heat of

the desert outside

and broken air

conditioner in.


Reimagining old

misdeeds I

came to my past. Might've

thought of you . . .

Then dressed. Swearing

I'd never come back

to Vegas.


A hair-pulling tease

where the cash-out

is a bankrupt

kiss-off always sealed

with regret.


I packed the suitcase

looking both ways.

Hoping to skip out

on the bill . . .

or find a nice cop to talk

my way out of jail once

again. Went out the back door

hitched a ride . . . Then made it

home as is now obvious.


“But did you think of calling me in LA?”


“No, I didn't. Maybe I should have.

Anyway, if I see Bill

he's dead. I swear to you

with his horse cock and all

he's fucking dead

or worse!”


“Wait, he’s calling me

On the other line

I’ve got to get this.”

Rp Verlaine, a retired English teacher living in New York City, has an MFA in creative writing from City College. He has several collections of poetry including Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers (2018) and Lies From The Autobiography 1-3 (2018-2020).

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