Thursday, February 28, 2013

all the worthless things in one place being bought

all the faces here hawk their wares
to the next
               buyer, memories for pennies
nickle & dime you, at tables, in stalls

toys, cards, coats, stickers, some appliance
i can't guess where to put, pillows, clothes
a velvet Elvis or ten, movies, road signs,
clutter to shift one house to the next
     flea-ing the market

& him,

he's the loudest, crippled, bent, small
in some places,
                     hunched big in the shoulders
all out of proportion, a cane, bandana-ed bald pate

'how bout an autograph?'

'sell you a picture for a dollar,
      my book for ten'

it's hard back, in sleeve & says WOO!
he much bigger when a professional
              wrestled with the best, knew how
to take one to give them a win, steel chair
to the face, razor blade to make blood
& sell tickets---
                  his fifteen minutes over,

it's good when you're in it,
feels like it would last forever,
                                           but doesn't
i know this, and after,
                               you realize
it was the wrong goal all along

if i had a dollar, i'd give it to him,
take a picture, put it atop the mantel
and tell everyone----'LOOK!!!!
YOU must have ONE!!!! do you know
WHAT it's WORTH?!'

but the coins that jingle, like
kindergartners learning to clap, missing hands
more than hitting out of coordination,
in the depths of my pocket

they're for dinner, and if i'm lucky
it might get better, if you'll let me
sell you an autograph

— Brian Miller

Brian Miller is the author of Waystationone and co-creator of both One Stop Poetry and dVerse Poets Pub. He lives on the east coast of the United States with his wife and two boys. all the worthless things in one place being bought first appeared on Waystationone and appears here with the author's permission.


  1. Great job, Brian! I loved this when I first read it at your prolific (and talented) blog!

    1. That's where I first came upon this poem and it stayed in my head for days. I thank Brian for allowing us to share within these pages.

  2. ha. the know i actually have one of those masks that was given to me....for a second i thought maybe you had snuck in and captured me...thanks for the honor sir...