“The Prison Courtyard,” oil on canvas, by Vincent van Gogh, 1890.

Approaching the Advertising Cliff

Writing about sports is one of the coolest things
you can do with your life, I told the elementary school
tour group in the news room. That, and building
roller coasters, and then building a house with
a giant skylight underneath the final loop-de-loop.


Do you have a scale in your bathroom

Do you frequent SparkNotes
a.k.a. the strip clubs of lit

How do you feel
when driving past
the penitentiary on a winter night
slits for windows
lit up like the credit card strip
from the bartender paying your bill

Does the scale or the SparkNotes
or the penitentiary remind you of when
you and Freeman drove down Dry Creek
in your old Camry with bunk wipers
and when it started to snow
he reached his gangly arm out
the window to clear our vision himself,
before he turned the gun around,
before we all got snowed in
and burnt up this side of town.

Morning Routine

Things are going well in the public relations campaign
in my mind

even though
problems hang over the trees of just-waking suburban streets
shortly before I graduate my first divorce

in three years yet at the bottom of my class,
cracked diploma with
my name likely misspelled—

if I knew what to do
I’d yell it out
in the shower—

but for now,
to the porch,
where it is becoming sunny
there is weed
and I can eat
your plums
you left
in the icebox.

“Morning Routine” originally appeared in IthacaLit.


KG Newman is a sports writer for The Denver Post. His first two poetry collections, While Dreaming of Diamonds in Wintertime and Selfish Never Get Their Own, are available on Amazon. He is on Twitter @KyleNewmanDP.