David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis.
He graduated from U.C., Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. at Charles Sturt University, Wagga
Wagga, NSW, AU. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los
Angeles Times
and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists
Guild in New York, and served as a voting member of the Los Angeles Ovation Awards
for theatre. His plays have appeared around the country and, more recently, in Croatia.
In a Newark Minute and Sperm Counts were both produced this year in Estonia. His
poetry can be found in The Rats Ass Review, Plum Tree Tavern, The Blue Mountain Review,
Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, and Quarterday. He is currently writing a memoir of his
years living in the Persian Gulf.


After every war-torn week-end
Someone has to clean up.
Things don't happen
By themselves; it takes making calls.

Someone has to turn the body
Over, identify the corpse,
Direct the traffic.

Someone has to clear the street;
Decide what's to be done.
Police will rope off the area,
Hand the body over to the coroner.

Someone has to notify the next
Of kin, take that walk up the street.
Someone better tell his mamma so
She can say what sort of boy he was.

Someone's got to get the SPCA
To control that stray. This pit bull's
Been gnawing on the boy's ear
And genitals.

Someone has to call the mayor.
We need more security. This neighborhood
Is not safe and it is only 3 in the morning.

Someone'd better get in touch with his
School. His friends are going to need
Free counseling. They'll have to cancel
Classes and assemble in the auditorium.

The boy's girlfriend will be all choked up.
Her momma can take her to buy flowers.
She'll claim to have been home alone.
Can she say who might've killed him?

The kids waving at the cameras say
They didn't see or hear a thing.
They don't know nothing about it.
They just want to be on TV.

His momma can't understand why
Anyone'd want to harm her son.
He always wanted to play for the NBA.
The boy wasn't doing anything wrong.

The mayor says he can't come by today.
He extends his condolences
To the family. He is busy applying
To host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

Someone needs to call the ambulance to remove
The body; the hospital can't do
Anything until they receive permission.

Someone has to condemn the violence.

Hunt and Polo

A roadside inn. Gravel drive. Pebbles divine.
At last the end of play, of splash,
Just murmur. And I suppose I should be
Diving into that picture Hockney left at the side
Of a cocktail dress and near. The chores,
Their joys and final good byes are too much.

But my eye lifts to a couple.
He is carrying him into the future.
Must be 60, and aren't they foolish
To allow themselves to be seen?

How he owns him, hugging
His neck, his crest fallen at this age.
The one's removed his friend's trunks.
I have never seen such a careful dunk,
Half-drunk, as he kicks him.

That beautiful display of nearly fucking in the pool.
And then quite suddenly he plunges
Beneath the surface, desperate to find a thing
Or has he lost his breath?

I figure he's clowning, not drowning.
And I suppose I should be doing
Something, of all people, me and somehow.
Nice touch that, too. Yeah, great view.

But I have never seen such a killing
Look as he gives him. Imagine
Being so bright as to know
There's nothing to it but water.

Drink the Ramen

It rains every day but there is no water.

In Chitose-Funabashi, the puddles are fine and the river runs wide,
But showers are on timers.

Take the wrappers off the bottles, keep the lettuce in the larder,
The neighbors eye our bin.

This summer, lightning strikes harder but the rains lose heart.
Locals don't taste the noodles, the flavor's in the broth.

It rains every day but there is no water.

Hand to Mouth

We die alone because old people stop fucking.
Once you give up sex, you're on your own.
That so-called friend, your partner, no longer
returns your phone calls.
She's found someone, as people used to say.

She's found somebody else is a polite
way to say she's no longer fucking you.
Dating is not about popcorn.
More than friends is the opposite of only.

Who controls the hands, controls the sex.
Your life is in her hands.
Hold them (down), tie them (up), or cuff them:
there is no on the other hand.
Her hands are all over the place.

What he needs is a hand job.
But you can hold his hand instead.
Go ahead, if it's clean.
Isn't that what "give your hand in marriage"

Stolen kisses.
He had a hand in it. He conned her out of it.
The crime of the century was an act of indiscretion.
He pinched her bottom but she didn't flinch.
Give an inch and he'll take a mile.

Copulation won't prevent death.
I never said that.
It's Philip Roth's brutal insight I have in mind:
Without sex other people don't matter.
Without sex, there'd be nothing but hand to hand combat.

Back to Front.