Black Water and Other Poems

by Robert Beveridge

Black Water

Mary Jo
is drunk, but still fights;
beats my hands away
from the hem
of her yellow dress,
keeps my fingers
from delicious thighs.
Gotta take another drink, fortify
myself for the next attack.
Pass the bottle.
Maybe it will lower
her resolve
and her neckline.
The best time, I think,
to touch her
will be when we cross
the bridge, above
the black and turgid waters
of the Chappaquiddick.
She’ll think, too much,
about my hands on the wheel,
not on her.
She’ll be surprised.
And she is. We pass
the last circle of halogen,
thump of wheels that pass
from blacktop to bridgetop.
I slip my hand
into the neckline of her dress,
and she is surprised,
pushes me away too hard,
smacks my hand against the wheel.
We swerve, sickening crack
of wood, weightlessness.
We fall, and fall.
Not a high bridge, to be sure,
but slowed time, and Mary Jo’s
whimper, meant
to be a scream,
and black water
never felt like brick
so much.
She’ll never fight again, goddamnit.

Genesis 1:1: First Dada Manifesto 1992


The departure began
at a Dave Smith reading
as I poured alcohol
and peroxide down
the podium to kill
the beer worms.
requested “Night Fishing for Blues”
and the revolt began
ecstatic erections
who reached with clenched teeth
for the culture in its holster
and lo!
I was born
It All Comes Down to This in the End, Baby—
Down a shot in a dingy
bar in Apsinwall, write
poems on paper napkins
that tear and smear when wet
Christ, Chaucer couldn’t’ve
even finished the Wife
of Bath’s Tale on a blackglass
scarred bar like this one

Rural Night

a stick figure
sits hollow
on my shoulder
and sings me lovesongs
in the morning
she’ll leave me asleep
without a word
kiss or note
your heat
strung on a chain
around your neck
reflects the gold
of my eyes
into your innocent gaze
take me there
into the ice
of your eyes
in the knowledge
that soon the band
will play our song
count the stones
your body rocks
in its special way
you move forward
and sway
then lean
and slide back
small breasts heavy
on your skinny body
stroke my mind
stroke my soul
let your smile
stroke my life
hold my life
kiss it tender
like a minor clock
at noon
make me know I love you


Robert Beveridge makes noise ( and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Borrowed Solace, Dodging the Rain, and Twyckenham Notes, among others.



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