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Rich Boucher

Something to Cry About


The house fire began to cry.

She had been working hard

on this home on the edge of town

for what seemed like all afternoon,

fully enjoying herself in her bliss,

this eager, smiling blaze she was,

and she was halfway through

consuming this residence

and now the fire department

had to show up and ruin everything,

just like they always did.


In a whirl of anguish and rage,

the house fire ran down the stairs

and met the firemen at the front door.

Why are you guys trying to put me out?

she sobbed, loud and desperate

and with a rush of red, bright air,

just leave me alone and go away

she screamed, she wept hot water

and her tears were fast embers.


She drew in a lungful of air

but then caught another scream

before it could leave her throat;

she knew it was useless to argue

or to beg these plastic men for her life;

she knew they didn't see her as worthy,

didn't see her the way they obviously saw

the ones just like themselves;

this was all the more frustrating

because the firemen were yelling,

but they were yelling at each other,

not at her; it was humiliating;

it was almost like they couldn’t hear her

no matter how loud, how bright,

how hot she made herself.


The end arrived with a sound

like a seashore shushing you;

the firemen brought more water

than she was able to burn away;

the firemen all swore they heard screams, too, 

but they never found a body.






Ode to a Grecian Yearn


In bustling, wine-scented Athens,

a young man peers into a storefront window

at a sea-green acoustic guitar on display. 

This instrument, like a curvy woman, reclines

on the Renoir couch of the guitar stand

behind the dusty glass, before his crystal eyes,

and he wants to know the song of her mind 

as well as any music that might come from her body,

but he does not have the necessary Euros

to spend an afternoon warm in her harmony,

or maybe even a night alone with her Eros

on some white stone balcony under a Moon,

and this want within him, this fluttering yearn

is beating against the silver bars of the cage of him;

there is a silence inside of all the noise on the street

as loud as his racing heartbeat in this moment

and need is the only thing that he can hear. 






It's Like Intimacy, But Different


Sex with you while I was angry with you

proved to be interesting.


Not that sex with you 

in another mood is uninteresting;

don't get me wrong.


Sex with you is good;

you taste good to me,

and you like the way I taste. 


Sex while being pissed off at you

was fun; I didn't have to be me

in that bed with you,

and I made my eyes into doors

that were closed to you.


I didn't have to say anything to you,

just touch you the way I know 

you wanted to be touched:


squeeze your tits hard, etc.,




I didn't have to change 

the expression on my face at all

until after everything, after all the positions,

until the candle on the headboard

was just a hot little point of anger

in a pool of red, melted blood,


and even then,


I kept the doors closed.






Do Not Tap or Pound On Glass, Chase Birds, 

or Otherwise Harass Animals


Who will speak for the elephant born in captivity?


Who will speak for the sparrows, and the owls,

and the barns they naturally live in?


Who will give voice to the night's coyote

and the centipede where the land is gold?


Who will stand in for the turkey of the wild wood

and the crested duck of the wild pond?


Who shall vouch for the slouching vulture

spying the baby in the carrier on the porch?


Who will champion the valiant, antennae'd slug?

Who will act as proxy for hawk and for grackle?


Who will speak for the zookeeper born in captivity?








Reaching gently into the screen

of her big, big Sylvania television set,

the woman wraps her fingers around the body

of the blonde morning show news anchoress.

The news anchoress screams,

but it sounds small in the living room,

door-creak tiny, given the difference in size

between the human woman

and the blonde morning show news anchoress.


Accompanied by a loud, short buzzing sound,

the woman pulls the blonde morning show news anchoress

through the soft glass of the television set's face;

the white cat on the couch, bored and detached,

observes and says nothing, despite the miracle in the den.


The woman pulls the blonde

morning show news anchoress

close to her face, inspecting her,

all the whole while not really seeming to hear

the news anchoress' screaming,

plucking at the anchoress' hair, curious.

The anchoress, who is blonde, and morning show,

is the news, while screaming for her life,

which is in the hands of the human woman.


The human woman slowly removes the clothing

of the tiny, panicking news anchoress.

The anchoress’ news legs twitch and jerk like bug parts,

and her mouth becomes the lipstick gateway

between nightmare and the alarm clock sounding;

the human woman smirks, amused by the fear.


The white cat leaps from the couch

down the to the floor and out of the room,

seeking amusement elsewhere.


The woman and the news anchoress

are alone now, and can have their privacy.



Rich Boucher lives, works, writes and performs steadily in Albuquerque, and is the occasional Guest Editor of the weekly poetry column “The DitchRider” at Rich’s poems have appeared in The Bicycle Review, Visceral Uterus,The Mas Tequila Review, The Camel Saloon, Apeiron Review, Brawler, The Subterranean Quarterly and The Nervous Breakdown, among others, and he has work forthcoming in Menacing Hedge, The Broadkill Review and Gargoyle. Hear his poems here.

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