Author: Wallace Barker

Wallace Barker lives in Austin, Texas. He has been published in Banango Street , Have U Seen My Whale, and Keep This Bag Away From Children. He also writes for Banango Lit. More of his poetry can be found at here.

Levelland

love at least might be something
different but sure didn’t seem likely
in west texas where you may not know
this but it stinks like literal shit pretty
much all the time from natural gas

or something and the old timers wear
cowboy hats and say stuff like mmmm
smells like money and I guess
they think that is clever and another
thing you may not know about west texas

pretty much nothing grows the place is dry
and flat and the ground is cracked so
just tumbleweeds and scraggly brush

so no it didn’t seem particularly likely that
love might find someone here unless you
are crazy fucking churchy or something
a weirdo basically by any rational standard
and you praised god and enjoyed the smell
of shit so when nothing grows from nothing
you can’t act surprised

Island Dilemma

Tennessee Williams swam
at Southernmost Beach
every morning he had

a saying “I work everywhere
but I work best here”
seemed like the solution

to all my problems
if only I might clear them
easily as I hop the curb

on this rented bike
scooters zip by while
I pedal hard along

the cemetery all the graves
above ground in mausoleums