Poetry: Dan Provost

Dan Provost
A former collegiate offensive lineman and football coach for 26 years, Dan Provost’s poetry has been published both online and in print since 1993.  He is the author of 15 books/chapbooks.  His latest, Wolf Whistles Behind the Dumpster was released by Roadside Press in November 2022.  He has been twice nominated for The Best of the Net and has read his poetry throughout the United States.  He lives in Berlin, New Hampshire with his wife Laura, and dog Bella.

 

 

No More Bullshit

 

At least

the emptiness

is truthful.

 

As dead brain

matter continues

to converse on dead

entrance ramps—openings

to floral hospices that

enact the end as spiritual

and routine.

 

Still, I am gone inside.

 

Refusing to listen to those

who assume the final act is just

another part of life.

 

My silence is not vengeance,

but just another violation

of sadness—that enters

when the day refuses

to acknowledge those who

replicate living.

 

On barren, driftless

walkways.

 

Throughout the faceless

 

landscape.

***

 

Darby Vassell

 

When you’re six years old, passed

from master to skin grinder—then finally

earn the name “slave”.

 

You go for the hammer when

there is everything & nothing to lose…

 

So, as the father of our country sees

your black ass on the swing set

in front of a plantation,

 

you know, the guy who supposedly

chopped down a cherry tree as a kid.

 

Even invented a parable about

his character for telling the truth…

 

Asks you why you’re not working—

 

You’ve got a choice to make.

 

Bow down respectfully and beg for his pardon.

 

Or ask the wigged old man, “How much are they going

to pay me?”

 

Realizing that he could have you shot like a young

horse who refuses to whinny on cue.

 

Darby asked the question…fearing nothing but being slandered

as a human being…

 

A piece of property be damned.

 

The legend haughtily passed into the building.

 

Vassall kept going higher and higher on his swing that day.

He then became a man who spoke his mind.

Refusing to be treated like yesterday’s death.

 

Later in life, Darby remarked that Georgie boy was “no gentleman, wanting a boy to

work without wage.”

He went on with his forced battle.

 

Finding within himself, a reason to respond

to lingering hatred. 

***

 

 

Hemorrhaging

 

Reeling

in a world of

morning sweat.

Dreaming from the waist as Townsend said

once…

Sensing my sub-conscious,

serving as an army of monsters, trying to

consume every unforced error.

 

Myriad of observations, faded—jaded

into the final decay of

fools gold.

***

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