Five Poems by Robert Beveridge



Sheaths! All of them, full
of briny white mess
and the hard, pliable spine.
They must be cleaned
before cooking.

And, like men,
there is no middle ground:
if you cook them
for more than a minute
or less than an hour,
they get tough. Chewy.

Done right, though,
they melt
on the tongue,
all butter and brine
and creamy
tomato sauce.

I Encounter an Old Lover in the Amateurs Section of Club Confidential

The caption
beneath her photos says
“’being fucked up against a tree
standing up’ is what turns
horny Susie on.”

I know this
as surely as I know
the curves of cheek,
breast, the birthmark
on her thigh, the
waist-length blonde hair
and the smile that stops
at the lips.

I know this
the way I forget the name
of the park in Northeast Philadelphia
where she leaned back
against that tree, wrapped
one leg around my back
and pulled me to her
in the rainy February dusk.

The Lout

You have assassinated
the king. You wore
a glove of bullets and when
you shook his hand
two of them fired, mangled
your digits, lodged
in his heart, spine.
Under another name you book
a flight to Panama and watch
for agents of the Royal Guard.

Okay, fine, so this is what really happened—

It used to be
such a good relationship
then her pusher
scored some heavy shit
I don’t know
exactly what

she got tired,
bored with everything
and thought
I was such a hypocrite
for asking her to stop

when she wanted
me to whip her
while tied to the bed
I gave up the struggle

we had sex
a week later
then she broke up
with me

it just wasn’t the same anymore
my tongue didn’t feel
like the whips
she loved do much
or the needles
that caressed her
so intimately


and cut
the string of your thinking
in half

take this world
of jungles and nooses
and live
cut the string
and dangle no longer
above the trees

make this world your own

Robert Beveridge makes noise ( and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Literary Yard, Big Windows, and Locust, among others.

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