Five Poems from Bill Gainer

Bill Gainer, Blue Collar Noir, Poetry

Bill Gainer is a storyteller, humorist, an award winning poet, and a maker of mysterious things. He earned his BA from St. Mary’s College and his MPA from the University of San Francisco. He is the publisher of the PEN Award winning R. L. Crow Publications and is the ongoing host of Red Alice’s Poetry Emporium (Grass Valley, CA). Gainer is internationally published in such journals and magazines as: The Huffington Post, Sacramento News and Review, The Oregonian, Sacramento Bee, Chiron Review, Tule Review, Cultural Weekly, The Lummox Press, Poems for All, Red Fez, River Dog Zine #1, Rose of Sharon, and numerous others. His latest book is: “The Mysterious Book of Old Man Poems.” Gainer is known across the country for giving legendary, fun filled performances. Visit him in his books, at his personal appearances, or at his website: .

A Lonely Angel

I guess it’s curiosity

keeping me here

waiting for the one

right thing

to lift me.

In the faces

on the streets

few possess grace

most fear

when they glance

it’s a lonely glance.

Walking by

I see no wings

and no one


without wings.

Twenty-One Love Letters

I could have written

a thousand.

Decided on twenty-one

to the women I’ve loved.

Mail them  

after I’m gone.

If you get one

thank you.

If not


you were always

a wish.

You could have brought

a lot of joy.

Maybe you did

to someone else.

I’m glad for him.

Maybe it’s because

I never asked

so you never did.

Maybe because

I scared you.

Never meant to.

Twenty-one is good.

A nice font

a simple note

I have always

loved you –  

You might wonder


why now

why didn’t I say something


Maybe because you were there

and that was all I needed.

Besides, what

is a surprise for

if not

to tell someone

they’re loved.

The Package

Before me

the old man owned a gas station

over on the Bay Shore.

I don’t know exactly where.

I’ve seen the pictures

him dressed in white

a dark jacket

a Derby hat.

Bettie, my Mom

told me he was robbed once.

After that he carried

a set of brass knuckles

in one pocket

and a small pistol in the other.

He sold the station

a few years later

then the war


he went to work at the Dodge plant

until it closed

ran a trucking company

until it killed him.

It was a nice funeral

a couple of his sisters

came out from West Virginia.

Friends and family

quiet talk

the drinking at the house

wasn’t too bad.

Driving the aunts to the airport

the soft weeping

and polite goodbye lies.

A few months later

got a package in the mail

heavier that it looked

the brass knuckles

and a pistol

a few loose bullets

and a note from Bettie

Just incase

you ever buy

a gas station.

Miles Away

Knuckles hurt

back hurts too.

Everything fucking hurts. 

It’s who I am.

Then there’s the cute picture

on a Christmas card

Kae St. Marie and the kids

me – 

looking innocent.

There are times

when all you can do

is look


and let the wish

take you miles way

from who you are.

While trying

not to blink.

A Drive to the Coast

We drove over to the coast

and bought back

seashells, a smooth rock

pieces colored glass

and a chipped sand dollar.

Once alive,

now just

tiny copses

to be collected

on the windowsill.


of a day at the beach.