From 1981-2003, I wrote a bunch of poems. I gave almost all of them away and kept no copies. I still trade doggerel with friends ’pon social media, but other artistic interests always encroach. I’ve written a few more on Facebook recently; one of those is presented here.

As far as what I can dig out and post right now, I have a few samples. I may dig out more.


• below: I wrote this one in 1993 (sub nom. “Jonathan Byrd” as a pseudonym) not long after the Character and Fitness Committee of the New Hampshire Supreme Court held some hearings and thereafter refused to let me practice law, based upon allegations of cannabis use. First published it as a .gif image on one of my old sites, so that’s how I’m setting it out here. Might as well stay true to the original, eh?




• below: flash forward, here’s one I posted on Facebook in 2015. I’ve tweaked a few small words (“A”, “and” & “the” type stuff) before recasting it here. It tracks the rhyme and meter of ‘Casey At The Bat’ by Ernest Lawrence Thayer; ergo, perfunctory apologies to Thayer.

Marcus At The Flat

The outlook wasn’t brilliance for The Cleveland Fine that day:
The score stood “tour-de-farce” qua monicker when put in play.
And then when Provost cried, at first, and I replied: “You’re lame!”
A sickly fish-eye lens was trained by Joe Levack (at game).

A scraggly dude got up to go in deep despair, to rest
Though headed to a room that’s always left unmentioned best.
He thought, “If only Marcus showed, upon our front doormat —
We’d spring for a whole new sixpack, then, with Marcus at the flat.”

But Smith did not know Marcus, and nor did Peter Ball
And the former had no auto, while the latter was appall;
So ’pon that stricken latitude grim melancholy splat,
For there seemed but little chance of Marcus getting to the flat.

But Smith said he would stay awhile, bewilderment to all,
And Ball, the in-dis-po-sed, had an answer to the call;
And when the vape had lifted, then they saw what had occurred:
There was Peter wanting seconds and Smith demanding thirds.

Then from our gentlemanly throats there rose a husky yell;
It grumbled down the alley, and it rattled through the smell;
It pounded on the ceiling and recoiled upon the mat,
For Marcus, flighty Marcus, was advancing to the flat.

There was ease in Marcus’ manner as he stepped into the place;
There was snide in Marcus’ sneering and our smiles bit Marcus’ face.
And then, responding to our jeers, he lightly doffed his hat.
No strangers in the crowd allowed, with Marcus at the flat.

Ten thousand grains were loaded as he rubbed his hands with mirth;
Five thousand grains inhaled, and then his lips wiped on his shirt;
Then while the humming vap’or chugged the fluid at his lung,
Reliance flashed in Marcus’ eye, he’d assay what was brung.

And now the celluloidal pouch came hurtling through the air,
And Marcus stood a-watching it like Johnny Vandermeer.
Close by the sturdy tokesman, the pouch unheeded sped —
“That ain’t your best,” said Marcus. “Such a one!” the bagman said.

From the stenches, gray and puffy, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of your whip upon a stern, soi-disant whore;
“Kick him! Kick the bagman!” shouted someone on the couch;
And it’s likely we’d have kicked him had not Marcus stayed the grouch.

With a smile of Buddhist charity, now Marcus’ sternness blown;
He squelched the rising tumult; he bade the vapes go on;
He signaled to the connoisseurs, once more a pouch they threw;
But Marcus still abhorred it, and the bagman said “You’re through!”

“Odd!” cried the couch potatoes, and the echo answered “Odd!”
But one painful wince from Marcus and the stoners all cried “Lawd!”
They saw his face now burn and fold, they saw his muscles train,
And they knew that Marcus wouldn’t let that pouch go by again.

The leer is gone from Marcus’ lip, his teeth are drenched — it's late,
And he pounds with violence his Apple Watch upon his pate;
And now the bagman holds the pouch, and now he launches throw,
And now the fair is tattered by the farce of Marcus’ blow.

Oh, somewheres in this savoured sand the sun affords some light,
A rock band’s playing somewhere to a bunch of hearts that’s right;
And somewheres men are gaffing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Cleveland — ‘Flighty Casey’ has passed out.

Marcus Bales has published a lot of his poems on Facebook

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• below: I wrote a brace of poems to the desperately beautiful journalist Nancy Pasternak in 2001



• below: I wrote these six poems to the alt-rock singer Shirley Manson (band: Garbage) in 2002

six poems



page last updated: 03-20-2021