Three Poems By Jay Miller


I know what I have to write. The

tomorrow was gone, the wind knocked out of me.

New quibbles, old logic. I rhyme magic

with feeling twice my age and in love.

I’m not worried about where I get my inspiration from,

but what my inspiration’s of, because I’ve lost it.

This poem was something else before I started.

Now we are ice clinking in old-fashioned glasses,

the dance drowning vision of the city skyline.

I tango you. We get old. Romantic, too.

You whistle to me singing in the shower,

never unhappier than a nudist in wintertime.

I’m here for you, lover.


One syllable at a time, fine,

I want to sip champagne cocktails

with you over dinner, gin and lemon,

sage or thyme; our employers

to deck our wardrobes, especially mine.


Rhymes are like ice, where iambs are bitters,

and spondees like absinthe,

though I sub in pastis, with more anise than liquor.

I am spendthrift and forthwith, my virtuous ultimatum:

wise poems call for winedrunk; leave the other patrons the hokum.

But a bar without ice is like a car without gas.

These poems are all cordial-filled and malapropos,

like supermarket grenadine in a Singapore sling,

or unrefrigerated vermouth in a martini,

or unshaken Zombie, that sort of thing.

We have only just begun. These are the night poems.

The rhythm is circadian and the prosody nocturnal.

Syntax elongates as the froth of starlight shines down

through the black milk clouds that hide the moon

waning on the zenith of its too brief summer darkness.

Between two equinoxes night passes by like playing hooky,

too sweet and too quickly, so stay the weekend and call in sick.

I like the way the dust moves in the moonlight by the sink.

I like to imagine my inner monologue has extra features

like the extended director’s cut and deleted scenes.

Summer is over, lover. It’s a bummer but bigger yet I’m

three weeks sober. Quarantine’s doing a triple encore,

my liver’s sore, my eyes even more

so, but my heart aches the worst.

Without you here, I have no thirst.

Jay Miller (@sootynemm) is a young working writer. Recovering blogger and polyglot, reviewer, copywriter, translator, technical writer, editor, poet. His poetry appears in CWHOBB, Versification, mineral lit, and giallo. He edits The Lit Quarterly (@LitQtuarterly) and holds a BA in Linguistics. He currently resides with his partner in downtown Montreal.

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