John Dorsey (Western Voices 2023)

Bio: John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015), Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016), Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017), Your Daughter's Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2021) and Sundown at the Redneck Carnival (Spartan Press, 2022). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at

A Dog in the Street

my great grandfather died 
like a dog in the street
at the age of 52
all at once heavy as a stone
& light as a feather
the dogs here 
sleep on their backs 
in the sun
& are roused 
by the stirring 
of rustling leaves
maybe somewhere he is too
with his things already packed 
& waiting 
for the right time to go
one spirit moving into another.

Belated New Year’s Resolution

make a list of things
you meant to do 
over 46 years 

love yourself.

Never Trust a Man Who Hasn’t Seen a Tornado

grass in a field 
that doesn’t move 

is lying about something.


  1. Really really did the last one!!

  2. I love the last one as well. Gripping.


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