4 Gritty Poems by J. Rohr @JackBlankHSH

Punk Noir Magazine


“Shotgun Sculpture”

Sorry my dear.

I didn’t think

Bullets could kill you.

Not after decades watching

You ingest poisons,

Emotional and chemical.

Deceived seeing

You skate knives

Over arms tempting 

Crimson canyons to open.

I heard the blade

Scrape across stone.

How did a shotgun

Shatter your sculpture?


“Bent Silverware

And then we bent the silverware

No idea how

Just a glance to damage

Twist beyond use

While curious cats led

To a coconut kiss

Slipping a razor 

Spun by a dancing tongue

Slicing gums

Leaving teeth loose

Like pocket change

Bartered on futures

Paid in molars

Chewing brick

Canines dug

With crooked spoons

Fetch glimpses of gold

A reckless cost recalled

Gumming steak


“A Revolver Full of Teeth”

A revolver full of teeth

Spitting canines chewing

The candle.

Blow by blow bit gone

Silencing fire;

Shots shattering the jar

Spilling ink across canvas

Changing the portrait.

No longer the Dorian district

Immune to facts of decay,

Neon distractions highlight

Scars in brick.

Flickers pointing at gutters

Full of the drowning

Rats, cats, mice, and wolves

Eating each other for air

Sucked from stolen lungs

So they can sing

Love for the city.



Heaven hollow 

a place within me where

eyes see not

but crimson shadows—

the creeping ink 

coming ripping.  

Rather, see the silver

threads a weaver hid

to hint there are slender

seconds better.  

Miles distant perhaps, 

ethereal at best 

maybe, yet 

possible enough to spit

sparks on oily rags

some saints have littered

in a cluttered basement 

full of faded photos, 

dusty toys, 

and multitudinous moldering moments 

encapsulated in unused China, 

forgotten Teddy bears, 

and long-lost games. 

When the fire comes 

so does the rush 

to harvest it all, 

though only what matters most 

makes it into loving hands. 

The rest is ash, 

a half-remembered dream 

if ever even recalled, 

yet still fuel 

for the incinerator 

pumping the engine along. 

Headed over 

a silver line. 

Once crossed, 

into a land of sunshine 

scattering the shadows 

that’ve been called to feed.

J. Rohr is a Chicago native with a taste for history and wandering the city at odd hours. In order to deal with the more corrosive aspects of everyday life he writes the blog http://www.honestyisnotcontagious.com and makes music in the band Beerfinger. His Twitter babble can be found @JackBlankHSH.