Friday, February 4, 2011

Guest Poet: Joseph Farley

Chinatown to Chinatown

The Ghost Dragons went to war
with rival gangs
to control the lucrative traffic
in people between cities
on the knock off buses
that rivaled the big names
like Greyhound and Trailways.

Stories of knifings in bathrooms
at rest stops
along the New Jersey Turnpike
scared the locals into using
yet another knock off
as they journeyed
from Philadelphia to NYC.

Somehow differences were settled.
The FBI stopped following the buses,
and restaurant workers and shoppers
returned to crammed seats
and unsafe vehicles
spewing blue smoke
as they made the two hour ride
from Chinatown to Chinatown
unconcerned about anything
and thankful for
the cut rate fare.

Working in the Crematorium

It is a simple life.
Check the flame,
Check the fuel,
Put the body in
And let it cook
To ash,
Then turn off
The fire,
Sweep out
The white powder
And maybe a tooth,
Empty the dustpan
Into an urn.
It's a day's pay,
And makes you conscience
Rest easier,
Robbed of
Any fear of hell.
Good, bad, indifferent
All ending in flames.
The beer after work
Is cold
And goes down fine
While eyes study
The dancers
Before opening
Your wallet
For a five.

In the Dark Hours

The sun is plunging
But I’m not there.
People are walking
without a care,
but I’m where you are,
in sunlight or shade,
I’m there beside you
Chasing clouds away.
When it rains
I’m your umbrella.
When it snows
I keep you warm,
And when the sun glows
Hot on your skin
I’ll be your cool water
And everything.
I won’t let the dark dream
Take you away,
Cause with me here
I want you to stay.
I’ll be your sunshine.
I’ll be your shade.
I’ll keep you happy
On the cloudiest day.

© Joseph Farley 2011

Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His books include Suckers, For the Birds, and Longing for the Mother Tongue (March Street Press).


  1. Enjoyed the 'now'of these especially Working in the Crematorium -

  2. Joseph, I love this. He's every woman's dream boat.

  3. Somehow I've added another poet to my favorite artists. I loved 'In The Dark Hours' ... I especially loved the ending; it very cohesively painted the picture of this person being another's everything.


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