Poetry: Selections from Jonathan Hayes

The Palm Tree

Is a crucifix
of sorts


i feel
i masturbate

I Was Supposed to Die

Watched several episodes of The Last 24 Hours
And booked the Union Square hotel room
Kissed the wife on the cheek while she lay in bed,
and told her that I loved her before I left for the City
Bought so much crack in the Tenderloin
that it was coming out my ass
Blew MS13 clouds from the white sheet king size bed
— a narcotic morning marine layer with flowers in the hair
Sang myself electric between hits until I got the text
From the hotel balcony I looked for my escort down on the street
But she knew better
Alone, in the carpeted hotel hallway
The ominous ice cube machine rattled near the elevator
And I didn’t die
Not, last night

Jonathan Hayes lives by the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz, California. He walks the levee at four a.m. to go to work at Trader Joe's where he brakes down grocery pallets. He is responsible for editing and publishing the small press literary journal Over the Transom for the last twenty-five years. His new book, Ghetto Sunshine, Poems 1997 - 2021, is forthcoming from Poems-For-All.


  1. Fantastic poems! Nice to find you on the internet! Dan O.


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