Four Poems | PW Covington

Vampire Conditions

These are vampire conditions, Brian
Pulling in all manner of matter and kindness
Taking it all, letting nothing escape
The many varieties of vampire
Stalking through
William Burroughs’ Western Lands
Through Milky Way Los Angeles…and worse

Vampirism is as American
As the Internet
Always taking more than giving
Dead and dying, always more than living
Christmas dinner glory carols
Repeating denial
The anti-matter assholes

8 thousand black holes of the soul
So heavy, so dense
Nothing with a name can escape
There’s a one-way vampire valve
At the end of this gutter continent
Eventually, we all get
Born, torn, through

Obliterated anew and tossed back in the swim

Alpha Centauri and the Pleiades
And all great god-stars crumble in the end
Anything left won’t last long on its own
Vampire zone state-line ahead, watch your speed

The emptiness of a blackhole
Coffee cauldron
Neck vein
So pale
Not even promises
Try to escape



Liver Spots

I have been watching age spots
Appear on my arms and hands
A few more
On my neck and shoulders

Like both of my grandfathers
To days
Spent outside
Under violent ultraviolet

I’ve scraped and scratched
Sloughed them off
Yet, they return
Like blemishes
During a criminal history
Background check

Concealable, still
Yet indelible
No longer worth the effort
They tell the story
In liver-tinted tones
Of summer days at sea
Sunbathing on prison concrete rec-yards

Of living a life uncovered

Tanning my flesh
In tiny, speckled,

Side effects
Of inescapable




Clean Antiseptic
Safe and sterile
Harsh and honest fluorescent lights
On bleach-clean
Stainless steel, secure

Smoky sunset, sexy
The romance of uncertainty, rejected
Dreams traded in
At risk of liability

No one cares about
Honor student run-aways
In these days of consequence
And distraction





Destroy your desires with dynamite
Hold parades for all fallen conscripts
Convicts and Queens of gated community

Bodhidharma carpet-bombed the West
Until all that was left
Were mistrals and mystic misfits
Royal tapestries
Root canals at Christmastime
Be blessed

I’ve lit 17 fuses, myself, this morning
Shaving mirror after-shocks and tantrums
Trauma center take-out Kung Pao chile
Powder kept dry by force-field of panic
Bile in African sunlight, soaking
Into neon, smoke stained, sandbags stacked behind

Rinzai masters
Sit on carbonated councils
Compounding quarks and nano-bots
Leaving Louisiana on a flatbed trailer
Chained down and rusty, beside the Sabine

Destroy your desires with dynamite
Re-radicalize yourself, again
From within
How much of this dream do you want to believe, anyway?

Flow, Universal
Into the crevices and wrinkles
That time pretends to fill
Winter burns in twilight gleaming flight
Demon decolletage, teasing bankers out on Market Street
Discretion is not called for, these days, at all

Burn the ships that brought you here
The documents and currencies you hoard
Saints of circumstance in made-up murder mystery shows
The ebb and flow of failure praised perfection

Each climbs to
Our own orgone-powered tree house

At a quarter past the
Pyrotechnic afterglow
Shining noble


Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash


Brief Publication History:
Recent work from PW Covington has been published by Better Than Starbucks, Steam Ticket (University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse), Pure Sleaze Press, Mad Swirl, and The Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival.
In 2019, Covington’s North Beach and Other Stories (Hercules Publishing) was named a LGBTQ Fiction finalist by the International Book Awards.
His latest collection of poetry, malepoet., is available from Gnashing Teeth Publishing.

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