Bill Yarrow




they tied him to a louver
and piled up hickory sticks

the flames gushed through the slats
and then burned down the house

not every punishment proceeds
without a hitch


in walks the ghost with wireless hands
the hacksaw complexion
the jackoff heart

Gabriel in a zebra suit


like a dog’s first whiff of cinnamon
the humbled metabolism
inhales the future


here’s what can be glimpsed:

a rose degraded to a thorn
a man etherized on a couch
all the hymns of Hymen sung to the music of crucifixes


the moon is our conscience
we shall not wane


Down Ballot

she votes based on hair type
he lives off the largesse of women without hips

she works from nine to three for a cosmetic dentist
he spends his afternoons wandering the Zuma hills

she developed shin splints from running after four children
he can’t get over his triumphant puberty in New Rochelle

she’s looking for a man with a Yale lock on his conscience
someone who could be the cashier at her church

his childhood barber is running for office in Milwaukee
he would contribute but the down ballot is never a sure thing


Bill Yarrow is the author of Pointed Sentences (BlazeVOX, 2012) and Incompetent Translations and Inept Haiku (Červená Barva Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in many print and online magazines including Treehouse, Contrary, RHINO, PANK, and DIAGRAM. A chapbook, The Lice of Christ, is forthcoming in 2014 from MadHat Press.


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MadHat, Issue 15, Winter 2013-2014