Poetry Break: By Jack Phillips Lowe

Editor’s Note:

I love poetry, and I’m thrilled to be getting more submissions from this genre. I will say that poetry is like art, it’s completely subjective. Its beauty is completely in eyes of its beholder. Jack has been published in several places (check out his bio below). I hope you like his poems, they are what I would call – abstract art. Enjoy. 



Driving, I trailed behind

a burnt orange Chevy Malibu,

heading south on Addison Road

in Villa Park, Illinois.


Clinging to the back

of the Malibu were

two things that made

my commute an occasion

of cultural enrichment.


Just below the car’s

left brake light,

holding on for dear life,

was Buzz Lightyear himself.

Heroic Buzz, sprawled

on his chest, was

stretching his right arm

out in an effort

to save his friend,

Woody the Cowboy.


Woody, his back to me,

was clearly in distress.

The hapless wrangler

dangled by his fingernails

from the rear bumper,

with the toes of

his cowboy boots scraping

the rushing blacktop below.


It’s not every day

Jack Phillips Lowe

that you see a piece

of modern art

in mid-day traffic.

Good on you, Malibu—

good on you.


Champagne was chilling

in every bar in Wrigleyville.

Boxes of division-winner confetti

lay hidden in strategic locales

about the storied ballpark,

ready to rain down upon joyous

fans at just the right moment.


Up in the nosebleed seats

lurked more than a century’s worth

of ghosts, the almost’s and the

never-would-be’s, tasting their exorcisms.

Hope hung over the field

like a fog on Lake Michigan.


Victory, though, was a conspicuous no-show.

The party fizzled out two runs shy,

with a pop fly hit off the closing pitcher

of a fourth-place team of mooks

from Milwaukee, every one of them

relishing their roles as spoilers.


Chicago Cubs fans filed out of the park

in grim lines of blue and white,

every one of them suffering from

the type of headache that only

comes from an almost-orgasm.

Next year would wait ‘til tomorrow.


Morning. Carolyn and Scott

are stretched out on the sofa,

reading the Sunday paper.

Carolyn looks up from the comics,

just in time to see Scott

raise his eyebrows and nod, slightly.

In response, Scott’s teacup rises

off the coffee table, floats through the air

and lands in his open hand.


“Telekinesis?” Carolyn says, goggle-eyed.


“Yup,” Scott says, reading football stats.


“Since when?” Carolyn asks.


“High school,” Scott answers.

“My senior class took a field trip

to the local nuclear power plant.

While there, I got bitten by

a mosquito. The next day, I found

I could move stuff by thinking about it.

I figured that by being around nuclear energy,

the skeeter was mutated somehow.”


Carolyn takes a breath.

“You’re forty years old. For all this time,

you’ve had a special power.

Yet, you haven’t been inspired

to don a colorful costume and

use your power to fight crime?”

Scott, sipping tea, shakes his head.


Carolyn’s lips form a “WTF?” smile.

“Ahem!” she says, nudging Scott with her foot.


Scott floats his cup back to the table.

“Don’t give me that face. It’s simple—

I’m a lazy, non-bulletproof bastard

who looks fat in spandex.”


It has been my lifelong habit

to file the pronouncements

of any and all social critics

under “B” for “bullshit.”


But as I switched off my radio

for the last time tonight,

I caught the tail-end

of a statement which

bore a kernel of truth.

“Weather,” said a woman calling in,

“is the last common denominator

in the world.”


To think that a random person,

in a far-off place,

and I could be sitting enjoying

the same strange music

a cloudburst makes when

raindrops bounce off burglar bars?

It almost restores my faith

in the human race.



Jack Phillips Lowe is a lifelong Chicago-area resident. His poems have appeared in Clark Street Review, Nerve Cowboy, and Creativity Webzine. Lowe’s most recent poetry chapbook is Jupiter Works on Commission (Middle Island Press, 2015). And he believes that Drooper, of the Banana Splits, is the most underrated rock bassist of the 1960s.


  1. Good pieces, Jack. These are a pleasant surprise to my day. I’m pretty picky when it comes to poetry. I really enjoyed these – thanks! 🙂

  2. Thank you for submitting these, Jack. I read. I smiled. I thought. I could see the bitter disappointment. Good job.

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