February 28, 2010

Jack T. Marlowe

one night last winter

a man just
needs to be

a cold night is
more welcome
than a warm bed.

this is one of
those times
late at night in
when slumber
beckons; but
even at this hour
disquiet can
drive a man from
his own home.

a neighbor is
putting out the cat
another is
putting out the dog
and others are
putting out the lights.

up and down the
street, things are
winding down for
the night.

one man is
unwinding on
his front porch
or trying to

a restless observer
sitting beneath
pale yellow light

watching the
gypsy moth's
naive flirtation with
death, and the
dwarf boxwoods'
uneasy stirring
green dissenters
muttering against
the wind

watching breath
turn to mist
as it hits the
cold air
the occasional
car that breaches
the shadows
the ash on the
end of a cigar
as it slowly
grows longer
and longer
then finally
drops off.

he's not sure if
this qualifies
as 'quality time'
but it's his time
time to just
sit and think—
or not—it's
his choice.

and for the
moment, that's
that no one
can take away
from him.

a man just
needs to be


Jack T. Marlowe is a working-class malcontent from Dallas, Texas. A writer of poetry and fiction, he is also a veteran of the open mic. His writing has appeared in Zygote in My Coffee, decomP, Red Fez, Word Riot, and elsewhere. Jack is also the editor of Gutter Eloquence Magazine.

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