Fall/Winter 2016

Joe Millar


Ronnie's eyes are bloodshot and steady
under his iron-colored hair
and the wind keeps making mine
blink and tear
outside the noon Meeting
as he tells me about the 20-dollar
Tuesday Night Life-Drawing Class,
about quitting art school years ago
out west in California
to become a private detective,
the same year Nixon got re-elected
only to resign from office:
no more Bishoff and Diebenkorn,
no more mute wisdom of canvas and line,
no more Joan Brown and David Park,
his green skiff in the estuary,
picnic rain on the banks

and if the body is the world's last hotel
its vestibules worn by time,
he will have checked out early
and be waiting outside alone
relaxing in one of those woven blue chairs
in no big hurry to go anywhere
and admiring with his painter's eye
the earth's accidental beauty
which never can last --
the daylight moon overhead
as well as the splashes of last night's rain
which have settled the clouds of tree-pollen
into pale green aqueous streaks
the color of ancient burnished metal
on the dark flat stones of the terrace.


Joseph Millar is the author of three previous collections. A fourth, Kingdom, is due out in 2017. His poems have won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA.



Poetrybay seeks fine poetry, reviews, commentary and essays without restriction in form or content, and reserves first electronic copyright to all work published. All rights to published work revert to the author following publication. All Email submissions should be in body of email text.

To submit poems write to:

PO Box 114 
Northport NY 11768
or email us at 

send comments to info@poetrybay.com

first electronic copyright 2004 poetrybay. 
all rights revert to authors

website comments to dpb@islandguide.com