Moab & Two other new poems by Tohm Bakelas


As I choke on Moab heat
cooked out of my skull
ravens circle the sky
lizards scour the earth
and cacti wave in the wind
As I wander red rock
the shade offers no relief
I am a foreigner to this magic land
as most around me are
and even though i feel welcomed
I know ravens
cough up dust
and bones are
bleaching in the sun

firefly field

on holy nights
on lonely nights
we’d gather
in a drunken haze
at the field behind
the parking lot
across from the hospital
there were hundreds of fireflies
lightning up the night
creating magic
providing sanctity
often we’d walk around
that field
or sit in silence
and watch
as the night came to life
then we’d go
to our


the corner bar seat
endless views
of the barmaid’s ass
to fill the draft
with her assistance and
without her knowledge
and convenience
to write the poem
the corner bar seat
is a lonely place
but I do not
the barmaid
keeps looking back
is it towards the draining glass
or my ugly unsettling self
the barmaid’s smile
is natural and warm
making things
seem okay for a while
making this seat

Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have been featured in Outlaw Poetry, Nixes Mate Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Piker Press, Ghost City Press, Tower Journal, The Raw Art Review, Razur Cuts, Medusa’s Laugh Press (forthcoming), and Weasel Press (forthcoming). He has three published chapbooks “Orphan Crows” (Analog Submission Press, July 2018), “Destroy My Wound” (Budget Press, August 2018), “In Living Rooms” (Iron Lung Press, November 2018) and a microchapbook “We All Arrive” (Origami Poems Project, October 2018).

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