‘Poetry Break’ by Jack Phillips Lowe


“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”― Leonardo da Vinci



The night Ophelia left Tecumseh,

she didn’t say a fucking word.

She didn’t steal anything, either.


While Tecumseh was out whoring,

though, Ophelia did go

through his record collection

and switch every Bob Dylan disk

from its companion jacket

to another, random sleeve.


So forever after, whenever

Tecumseh reached for Zimmerman,

he knew not what he’d get—

his ears might yearn

for Blood On the Tracks,

but taste The Freewheelin’ Bob instead.


But Tecumseh never bothered

to undo the chaos

Ophelia had wrought.

This crap-shoot, you see,

reminded him of

his long-gone girl and

the flashbulb danger

she’d brought.

two drops of ink marilyn l davis


On the last job, you watched

as your name listed

on the weekly work schedule

became as rare as

a Bigfoot sighting.

You watched as

your bank account

became an ice cube,

melting in your hand.

You watched as

your beard grew out,

just so you could say

you did something

while sitting around

all those days when

you were figuratively employed,

but literally not working.


On the latest job, you watch

as your name is listed

on the weekly work schedule

as often as

the month, the day and the year.

You watch as

your bank account

becomes a summer mushroom,

sprouting—a little bit—

seemingly overnight.

You watch as

your beard grows out,

this time because

you forget to shave

as the job eats your days

like Pac-Man.


Hell lurks in

the space between

two extremes.

two drops of ink marilyn l davis


And immediately, Graig flips into Doomsday Mode.

A scene from Old Yeller pops into his brain—

Tommy Kirk, holding a shotgun,

walking into the barn to put Old Yeller down.


Graig fails to consider that maybe Lady,

his 12-year old German Shepherd,

just doesn’t feel like eating then.

He doesn’t stop to consider that,

perhaps, the dog doesn’t care for

Rachael Ray’s shitty, overpriced dog food.

And not for a moment does Graig recall

the dozen or so tidbits, Milk Bones

and the one-fourth of a Taco Bell burrito

that he, the ultimate helicopter pet parent,

stuffed Lady with throughout the day.


Noooo… instead Graig has, between his ears,

Photoshopped his 48-year old head

onto Tommy Kirk’s teenaged body,

as Kirk does What a Man’s Gotta Do and

Bob Dylan sings Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

After the shotgun blast, Graig drops himself

into an Edgar Allan Poe set piece—

gray sky, driving rain, and a Gothic gravesite

at which Graig, clad in black, weeps openly.

In the meantime, Lady dozes comfortably

on the living room sofa.


Graig is kind of an asshole, you know.

two drops of ink marilyn l davis


Last night, I dreamt that

I was sitting on a white horse

in the middle of a desert.

There were slender female arms

wrapped around my waist.

A set of firm breasts pressed against my back.

A pair of moist, full lips brushed my cheek.

Occasionally, long locks of brunette hair

wafted across my face via a warm breeze,

then were promptly flicked away

by a tan and delicate hand.


This scenario alone

would’ve been enough for me.

But abruptly, into it chugged

a Mad Max-style dune buggy,

its shiny red chassis sitting high

above a sputtering, fully exposed engine.

The vehicle sported four axles

that were at least three feet long

and capped by chunky black tires

with gleaming silver spokes.


The dune buggy rolled up

to the horse, the lady and me.

I could see that its driver

was none other than

Sir Paul McCartney, dressed in

his classic gray Beatles suit.

“’Ello, mate!” chirped Sir Paul.

“When’s the Orange Bowl this year?”


“Sometime in December,” I replied.

“Probably after Christmas.”


Sir Paul gave me a “thumbs up,”

turned his dune buggy around

and zoomed back over

the sandhill from whence he came.

The woman, whose face I never saw,

started to gently finger my nipples

through my shirt as the scene

faded out like an old movie.

After you, Dr. Freud.


Jack Phillips Lowe



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.

Published posts on Two Drops of Ink:

1) Poetry Break: By Jack Phillips Lowe

2) Poetry Break by J.P. Lowe

One comment

  1. Hi, Jack. Maybe we all need an appointment with Dr. Freud? I got visuals on all and smiled, pondered, and reflected. Thanks for starting my day on an enjoyable note.

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