My friend Richard
for Richard Bausch

My friend Richard tells me he met
Brian Wilson
at a hot dog stand.
Brian was buying a foot-long
chili dog. They
chatted briefly about the Buddha
and about
a new surfboard that Brian
had just bought.
The summer
moved on
as summers do.
Out on the water a sunset
in the shape of a smile
was slowly sailing away,
the last boat called Twilight, the last boat

I Kissed Jenny

It was by request and, without
passion, she obliged. I
was a smitten swain
and she was kind. It didn’t
matter because it was
a great kiss, her
darkling face so close to
She went back to
her boyfriend. I went back
to long, black nights
watching her dance in a club
where someone my age
looked like
Bartleby in the office.
But, friends, I kissed Jenny. In
the celestial ledger, the
often unkind ledger,
put that in.

I Saw John Berryman

I saw John Berryman jump
from the bridge.
He did not wave.

The wind held him up
temporarily and
he flapped his arms

before ignominiously dropping
to the frozen river.
Mr. Bones: he is.

Corey Mesler has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Rattle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South. He has published over 25 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, Cock-a-Hoop, is from Whiskey Tit. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On, which won The Memphis Film Prize in 2017. With his wife he runs Burke’s Book Store (est. 1875) in Memphis.