Beat Poems


only slumping occasionally

hugging Quaaludes

on the Brewery barroom floor

short and sweet

skin dark as a florida winter suntan



nobody should have called her

Debbie the Junkie

but we did

telling her she was driving everybody nuts

showing off

her dead boyfriend’s black onyx ring

she wore on a middle finger

promising to meet him soon

after killing herself like he did

on purpose with drugs

give it rest, Debbie, we said

so she did what she promised

and rest she did

eternal rest

buried by a stunned family 

in an anthracite cradled grave

where I couldn’t visit

even if I wanted to

because I never knew her last name

doubtful her mother inscribed

Debbie the junkie

on the gray headstone

I couldn’t visit if I wanted

after more than 50 years

I wonder


that black onyx ring remains

buried in her coffin

like licorice Nibs left outside to stiffen

in countless hard coal country winters

where a sad young woman’s

cold bones

and that black onyx ring

lay forever silent

and alone