3 Poems by Kelly Moyer

Bird Song

I wrote my version of Bukowski’s “Bluebird”
for class last Saturday morning. I called it
“Turkey Vulture,” determined to coax
the inner-scavenger from the tender cockles
of my heart.

I explained how a messed-up upbringing
diminished her, how she had been sedated
by the scent of her own parfum. I urged her
to ride the fucking thermals, to ruthlessly
ravage the carrion that sustains her nature.
I demanded to know why in the holy fuck
she would allow her voice to be silenced.
If she did, in fact, want to write like a lady
all her goddamn life.

Periods. Question marks.

In conclusion, I changed Chuck’s “weep”
to my “bleed,” then snapped my laptop shut.
Stripping off my punk-ass pajamas
as I padded into the bathroom, I turned on
the shower and peed.

After two years of doctors telling me
to forget about miracles, the toilet water
was red with blood.

And, with a flush
of smug satisfaction, I watched her soar.

Happy Hour

Things are going to go
downhill fast.
I can feel it in my bones
and in the tilt
of my uterus, the angle
of my crooked toe.

Things are going to go
downhill fast.
The way my runaway
skates sent me crashing
into your broken-down
Volkswagen bus
that bright autumn
afternoon, the one
that preceded the turn
of our homeless friend’s
pimento cheese, spread
on a slice of stale hope
and washed down
with a fresh-brewed cup
of disillusionment.

Things are going to go
downhill fast.
So, let’s raise a toast
to the utter trashing
of our toe stops,
E. coli and unpaid
medical bills. I hear
there’s good fortune
to be found in spilt wine.
Might as well hand me
that dusty bottle there.
Go on, take a bite
from its crumbling cork.
In the morning,
we can use what’s left
to pickle the onions.


I’m a blues girl, so I hope you don’t mind
that I left the club after the first set to cruise
the Quarter, strutting past the ghost tours
and mules of Jackson Square on my way
to the coffee shop, the bookstore to pick up
that new collection by the punk pilgrim poet.
It’s no surprise I’d swing by Rouses Market
for Voodoo chips, a banana, a bottle of pinot.
I might sit for a bit, pen a few lines of poetry.
If you need me, feel free to shoot me a text
or a halfhearted promise that this time could
be like the last. Hell, there’s wine in the room,
a half-written poem, an ovulation predictor kit
and, yes, a fucking banana for the morning.

Kelly Moyer can often be found wandering the mountains of North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and two philosopher kittens, Simone and Jean-Paul.