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.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Centorbi, David Calogero
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.
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
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, Bernice
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
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Koperwas, Tom
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Jen
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reutter, G. Emil
Robson, Merrilee
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
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
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.


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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