Three Short Poems

The following are an experiment of mine to write poems of substance in under ten lines. I read and studied haiku throughout the process but avoided syllable counting in order to retain each poems unique stylistic feel.


I had sex six months ago
and said I was sorry.
The want comes with memories.
Even when she hums into the night
I remember what it was like
when I fucked for money.

Magic in Names

She pushed me into a corner
and said my name. Hard-like.
Biting off the syllables
as if knowing who I was
gave her some kind of power.

The Corpse

I am a corpse going to black ink
in the sunlight. I am tired and rest
under a tree in a park, sleeping
in fits and starts.

The rain catches me unaware.
I’m wet now and cold.
I am lonely as a taproot.

William L. Alton started writing in the eighties while incarcerated in a psychiatric prison. Since then his work has appeared in Gloom Cupboard, Amarillo Bay and Breadcrumb Scabs, among others. He earned both his BA and MFA from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where he continues to live with his wife and sons.