Roy Mash




From the corner of my mouth
    comes a dribble of cinematic blood.
Tell Kathy … I … I …

My big moment.
    You can practically see the soul decamping
from my eyes,

the slow slump
    of the head, the long corny exhalation
I’ve been perfecting all my life.




Every time someone dies
    it feels like
another victory for me.

I feel vaguely bad
    for the dead,
those poor schmucks

shuffled off to the wings,
staring at their shoes,

while I’m here, safe
    in this seat,
so warm and firm.




I could be a Great Artist
if only what other people thought
didn’t count.

Or counted, but in a different way.

For instance, I have this fantasy
where I’m stalked by spirits so tone deaf
I am to them like Frank Sinatra

is to me.

They crowd around my shower to get an earful.
Inside the sound of the water
the surging of their cheers cannot be quashed.

Encore follows encore.

Finally, letting the mike fall
to my waist, I step out humbly, and towel off
to eternal applause.




The exuberant poodle
    I used to be
is no more. The pom-pom
    on my tail,
which once had vigor
    enough to beat a kettle drum,
has gone ratty
    and in need of teasing,
like the rest of me.

Once I pranced
    on four white poofs,
so ripe with yaps
    no diamond collar
could contain me.
    Every lap
lapped me up,
    every hand unfurled
a treat.

Who now is there
    to fluff my bed, to coo
my name, to woo
    a mutt who wallows,
    in the vast and
splendid poop
    that overlays
the world like lace?


ROY MASH is the author of Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove, 2014). His poems have appeared in: AGNI Online, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Poetry East, RHINO, and River Styx among others.


Read more by Roy Mash:

A poem in AGNI
A poem in Light
A poem in Serving House Journal