The Mugging: Times Square: 1973

New Year’s
I drank quarter beers
and lived in a delirium of lights.
The flash of the
flash-in-the pan
the hooker and the tourist
whores working the
opposite side of the street.

And then
running down
the dark alley
the sucker punch
the spray of American Express Checks
the denominations,
flapping to the ground
my face on the pavement
meeting a winding stream of
my own blood.

The war hoops
of the 125 Street
“Savage Skulls”

and my face
in the YMCA mirror
a purple distorted bruise
an impostor
a face
I would
never loose.

A Hollow Man (for T. S. Eliot)
Doug Holder

You can
see him on the
dead-end street,
his neck craned
like a nearsighted
giraffe
his feet splayed
unsure
of what direction.

You know
the skin flakes
and drifts to
the ground
when it
is untouched
and the hands
curl like a fetus
in need of
its mother.

You can smell him
like some
moth-eaten thing
hanging limply
on the rack
held
by a tenuous thread.

And behind
his blue eyes
the fire
is long
dead.

Change My Breath
Doug Holder

The sardines
Sliding in oil
A dash of mustard
A delicious hot dollop
My tongue
Ravished
By horseradish.
It dances
Like a flapper
Across my teeth.

Now change
My breath
My love
Before we kiss
Sometimes I think
All things so sweet
Will inevitably stink.

Doug Holder is the founder of the Ibbetson Street Press. His poetry and prose has appeared in “Lummox,” the “Endicott Review,” “Heeltap,” “Poetry Motel,” “Rattle,” and elsewhere.

–Doug Holder

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