that night in june

we weren’t meant to be lovers
but this girl and i
hit it off really quick
and gage, my best friend
said “dude,

i’m gay”

and i said “dude
i love you, let’s have another beer”

so we got more drunk than i’ve
ever been and i went home with
that same girl

and i’m not with her anymore
and she’s having a baby
with someone she loves
and i’m happy
and i hope she is too

and my friend gage
lives across the country
but this poem is dedicated to him
and his beautiful mama
and that girl who i dated
and the baby she made
and i hope everyone lives
happy lives
and remembers that night in


In the Rough is a chapbook containing 15 original poems by Doc Marek. Signed hard copies are available at a price of your choosing (PWYW - pay what you want). Click here for more information or to purchase.


In the Rough is a chapbook containing 15 original poems by Doc Marek. Signed hard copies are available at a price of your choosing (PWYW - pay what you want). Click here for more information or to purchase.

(via docmarek)

sixty years

we went to the zoo
and looked at the wild animals
behind the chain link fences
and electrically charged ones
for the really ferocious animals
which i guessed would
go berserk if they broke free,
but sadly, i’m not sure that
any of them would
know what to do
if they got out.

we saw a black bear sitting on his ass
by a tree, maybe ten feet from the
fence, looking down at the ground
like his girlfriend just dumped him
and we saw a few river otters
swimming and playing around
while another one slept in a small den
with a window so we could
look inside.

then we saw this chimpanzee
and one of the other zoo visitors
asked the zookeeper how old
she was,

"she’s forty."

"what’s their lifespan?"

"roughly fifty but in an environment
like this she will probably live to
sixty or better.”

sixty years of sitting around
being talked at,
of having kids knocking
on the windows,
day in, day out,
in the same small cage,
eating the same food,
being watched every time they

and us,
we aren’t much different.

at any moment

when you’re a poet, the money
feels like it could dry up at
any moment (except for dan
who once tried to send me

when you’re a poet, the inspiration
might leave at any moment, or it
might come over and fuck you
after dinner.

it’s sunday

there’s nobody on the streets,
it’s barely noon and it’s sunday,
but I’ve found my way to this
piece of shit bar that reeks of
fryer oil and fish and i’ll be damned
if i didn’t just take a shower
but everyone here is a regular
and the heat outside is almost
unbearable and the bartender is
this old woman with a voice that’s
hoarse from smoking hundreds or
thousands or maybe even tens or
hundreds of thousands of cigarettes
and she asks for my driver’s license
because i look like i’m underage
but i feel like i’m older than i am
and they know i’m not from this
city, they can see it, smell it, and
she serves me my beers and i toast
them all to jesus christ because it’s
sunday and any one of these crazy
fucks might try to jump me.


there’s a ringing in my ears
like the last word you spoke
to me, directly to me, we
looked eye to eye and
were breast to breast
with spring outside, knocking
at the door like a mormon
missionary, coming to bring
the good word but in our case
a new life, starting over, rebirth
these are the words that
come to mind when i reminisce
on those days when we both knew
we weren’t going to see each other

i faintly remember being
on the fourth floor study
and seeing you walk by,
your legs somehow carrying
the heavy weight of your heart
inside your chest, that same chest
i’d seen bare, they carried you
as if nothing was troubling you
and maybe it was nothing
that was troubling you,
but in that room
i remember the time i came back
from hearing that spring
was the suicide season
and yet winter, that winter, was
the season that made me tremble.

in the lobby of a doctor’s office

"the receptionist isn’t here,"

he said,
lying on the wooden couch
with a cheap cushion on it,

"i’ve been here almost an hour
and she’s not here.”

"thanks. i would’ve been standing
there waiting for awhile,”

i said
and suddenly he started
talking more, & i could tell
that he was one of those guys
who never shut up.

"this seating arrangement is shit!
i’ve been waiting on my wife
for almost an hour now!”

he told me,

"i came in here trying to figure out
how to make this couch more
comfortable. i did it at my grandmas
house growing up and i says
to myself ‘i didn’t get an engineering degree for nothin’ and i put
all these pillows on it and look at it now! it’s comfy! and that chair you’re
sitting on is too puffy. you’ll just slide
off of those.”

and suddenly his wife
came out from some back room
and said to him “let’s go,”
and saved my fucking life.

a victory

the moth
with the
throes of

& the spider
held on
for dear

naked poetry


i write poetry naked
and nobody even knows it.

and i feel like my
nakedness is somehow
revealed in my diction

and my madness
in my syntax,

and the fact that i
once loved you
seems to show up

in the lines i break
which don’t need fixed,
in my opinion.


in the fluid
we pushed our fingers

against the wall,
forming tiny ridges;

one of a kind prints
which last forever;

evidence of our
attempts to escape.

on liberty drive

when i was living on my own
i’d drink beer all day long,
as much as i wanted,
just like i’d done in college.

i finished a bottle of champagne
& told her, get me another one
of these fucking bottles,
and she took my debit card.

i shot the cork into the parking lot
and hit a car but nobody was awake
except us, lit up like the moon
and the ends of our cigarettes.

and he keeps playing

you were a child, once
& now you’re much younger;
now you shed the seasons
like a coat and put on time
like make-up, paying special
attention to your eyes and
your cheek bones, to your ears
and your nose which never
stop growing, which can never
quite resist gravity’s pull, the same
as the oceans, ebb and flow &
your heart is barely but
a leaf in the wind,
now, a sliver of sunlight
through a morning window,
beating in your chest like a drummer
boy on the front line, taking bullet
after bullet
after bullet
after bullet
to his chest
and his legs
and his arms
and his head
and he twists and he turns
and he keeps playing
that drum,
keeps laying that beat
nice and steady
through all of the chaos
until finally, thank god, finally
he stops, drops dead
and someone drops their rifle
and pulls the sticks from his hands,
picks up his drum
and keeps the battalion
marching forward
toward death,
right next to the flag boy,
forward to uncertainty
because certainly
there’s something at the end
but nobody has a clue
why they’re alive
or why they keep

sometimes it’s hard to tell

i hear two birds fighting or
& sometimes it’s hard
to tell which, even with people
it can be hard to tell,
but the other day
two flies landed on a book
i was reading, and they fucked
quietly and then flew into
a spider web, both of them,
and it made me
want to vomit.

but as i was writing,
i heard the neighbor’s baby
start crying
while they were fighting
about something that
probably didn’t matter
& i knew that they had the
best of both worlds.

for robin

when i heard that
robin williams died
i got drunk and walked
to the beach and got
blisters on my feet.

i watched the sun
set into the ocean,
watched the waves
rush up on to the shore
as the tide was receding.

i watched that old star
go down into the