Photography © Edward S. Gault


when you’re kinda sticky
no matter how you scrub
no matter how you coat
or oil yourself
when a minor upset
can buzz around for days
and a major one
for years
for a lifetime….
you tend to avoid the potential
the places where flies gather
warm bodies
you cultivate
the mean mug
and the dagger stare
practice in your mirror
Travis Bickle style
not out of malice
but to keep the cushion
of no man’s land
you need to survive
later you learn to avoid
phone calls, emails,
social media
before bed
an angry message
from a jilted follower
blocked on the grounds
of being an insane
and racist asshole
you hole up
in various caves and closets
in cocoons spun
by a fevered imagination

Brian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey and currently resides in Reno, Nevada. He writes free verse poetry, and has been published in The Blue Nib, The American Journal of Poetry, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, and others. His first poetry collection, Ordinary Trauma, (2019) was published by Alien Buddha Press.

Edward S. Gault is a poet and fine art photographer. He lives at Mosaic Commons, a co-housing community in Berlin, Ma. He has a wife Karen, and daughter.