5 Erasure Poems By John Dorsey

Author’s Note: These poems, along with several hundred others, are part of a larger erasure collection entitled Pocatello Wildflower, which examines the words of a group of Idaho writers who worked primarily from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, including the late Bruce Embree, who really got the ball rolling in my head and heart, with a few still working today. It is my great hope that folks will be interested in the original writers work, in addition to my own. Pocatello Wildflower will be available in 2023 from Crisis Chronicles Press. Thanks for reading.

My Parents

strangers raised us
in ditchbank weeds
on combat rations

it was love
& bruises
no pity
in the blowing dust.

Moving Past the Fetish

last year’s growing storm
a lost friend

famous people
not humping boulders 
like me
in the foolish
september moon.

The River of Lovers

could burn enough nostalgia
to find comfort
in our past

a whirl of wind.

Rosie Died

river rock

his father never blinked
feet first

alley shadows

a bad dream
catches in his throat.

Pocatello Tattoo

i lost my horse

my body
a boxcar
of coaldust


this country of shame
died in the trees

rolled west
in shoshone
in boise

in pocatello

april whiskey
on the spot

where the sun goes down
like a red-hot needle.

About the Author: John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2021) and Sundown at the Redneck Carnival, (Spartan Press, 2022).. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Cholla Bone” (2021)

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