5 Poems by Rp Verlaine

Punk Noir Magazine


Only the Mirages Count 

Another night goes missing 

purloined like a kiss 

between artful dodgers. 

I can’t create anything 

With a brush dipped in fragments. 

The colorful hallucinations 

inspired by chemicals 

the mind makes use of 

abuse of tonight. 

A movie without a camera 

The dreams I paint 

waking up 

too early or too late  

to escape in a bed 

without you. 

Yet from reverse angles 

the finishing touches 

own your signature.

Art of the illusion 

our canvas a virtual lie  

of abstract truths but 

only the mirages count. 

I no longer paint 

yet when we were each other’s 

each night’s canvas blurred anew 

but now there’s nothing but brushstrokes 

of tears, clear watercolors 

of premeditation & 

medication of powders and pills. 

Drugs I make use of, abuse of 

tonight, dreaming 

without color or 

nuance of hope 

a canvas bled dry 

another reminder 

that only the mirages count 

and only they remain 

until you return. 


Finding Religion 

A sudden disharmony 

between momentum, wheels, and 

bike chain upended me 

on a dark road’s 

wide turn sharp 

as the broken glass 

another accident had left. 

To barely miss my face 

as an oncoming car’s horns 

screamed above wheels finding 

enough gravel to halt 

its blind death spin. 

Stopping its roll  

inches from my face 

the fender, so close I could’ve 

touched it with my tongue. 

The driver got out 

swearing he was sure 

he’d killed me. 

As he helped me to my feet 

he kept repeating “boy 

you’d better thank 

god. You need  

to thank god.” 

I won’t lie 

that one night 

20 years ago 

I began to… 

never veering far 

from its path. No 

matter what was 



Cuts Of Meat 

Discounted for 

the amount of less 

than 3 bucks per 

lb. Yes, meat  

truck fresh 

chicken, ducks left 

as upside 

down necktie thefts 

of life now 

at the poultry place. 

These frail looking birds 

too pale for pity 

on sale are slaughtered  

head to tail 

for housewives who 

watch their post 

mortem butchery 

impassively &  


as lost sinners.  


for the young  

ginger who gasps  

then exits  

the joint fast.  


may have 

a point, I  


at long last… and 

I too  





Debased Acknowledgment 

Horror of us 

naked like 

universe at night. 

Each new guillotine 

coming down quicker 

leaving clean cuts, 

While absent of recall 

your lips 

engage others. 

Enlarging the puddle of blood. 


Vanishing Doubts 

Negation of 


we zero in on. 

Recent conversation 

limited to terse 

nonbinding details. 

Light in her eyes 

darkens when I whisper 

complicated truths. 

Still can’t decide 

are her sultry moves 

seduction or witchcraft? 

Answers I never get 

whatever I ask 

even the weather. 

Love’s circus act 

juggling doubts 

until I hear her 

reserve room in hotel 

with a new rogue 

vanishing doubt.

BIO: Rp Verlaine, a retired English teacher living in New York City, has an MFA in creative writing from City College. He has several collections of poetry including Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers (2018) and Lies From The Autobiography 1-3 (2018-2020).