Three Poems by Kenneth Pobo


I’m 33, not a happy ending 
kind of guy. Neither are you. 
Alive now, decay later. 

Why turn to ash in a town 
that should have burned 
to the ground long ago? 

I have no destination, 
maybe Tennessee, it’s got mountains 
so good I could lick them 

like gravy off a plate. If
moonlight shines at a good angle,
I’ll stay there, for a while. I have 

little to pack, hardly enough 
to strain my back. My Aunt says 
I’ll regret leaving. I may. 

I regret a lot. For now, 
home will be acceleration, 
the windshield leading me

straight ahead until curves dip. 
I’ll crumple the map, 
toss it out of the window.





In a Cadiz, Ohio motel 
that the owner said Clark Gable 
had stayed in when it first opened.
I wonder if the King slept 
in Room 17 where I watch 
Joan Crawford in Rain.

Did his ghost get caught between
channels? When I run
the bath tap, brown water
slops out. No shower towels.
The amenities meet down
the street at the Holiday Inn. 

I wake around three a.m.,
see a silhouette against a scrim. 
It’s him, I know it is, 
no crown, a sad guy trying 
to light a cigarette 
in heavy wind.





At parties
Grandfather shows up
in a deep purple tie,
ready to dance. Every
family has one,
I’m told, the pesky
relative who won’t
take a hint. Give him
a wall and he crawls it.
Give him a trellis
and he sprawls,

this Grandfather who
takes the cake
I just took out of the oven
to a cloud closet, 
locks the door,
eats every sweet crumb.




Kenneth Pobo has a chapbook coming out this summer from Spruce Alley Press called When The Light Turns Green.  His work is forthcoming in: Weber: The Contemporary West, Floating Bridge, Mojave River Review, Profane, and elsewhere.