Joseph Farley Returns.

Joseph Farley

Re Do

If I had my life to live over again
I would make better mistakes

I might not be happier in middle age
but oh what memories would crowd this page

Watch Where You Are Going More Than Where You Have Been

born with his head twisted backwards
he sees the past so well
and ignores the present moment.
so many regrets and lost opportunities
pass by him as he walks
steadfast into an unseen future
littered with open manholes
and alligators jaws.

The Beautiful Ones

few of us were born to be
body builders or swimsuit models.
although we may daydream
our lives lack that cinematic quality
that Hollywood teaches

be content with yourself
let mirrors crack
as you walk by
so what if you’re not loved
by the subject of
your private fantasies

you can still have the pleasure
of watching them,
the beautiful ones,
grow old
with sagging breasts
and receding hair

there’s more to life
than happiness
and those who
you long to be
may not have that either

you can always find a tree
and sit under it
pondering the days
and meditating
on the moon
until all makes sense
or ceases to matter anyway

Flavor of the Month

I’d like to be the flavor of the month,
chewed and rolled around on your tongue.
you’d look at me with your large soulful eyes
while I became one with your pearly whites.
butterscotch, pistachio, chocolate marmalade
I’d disappear into your gullet,
and neither of us would ever get enough of it

Failed Couple

Your desire to exist
and my desire to live

can not coalesce.

We are separate beings
with distinct ways

of thinking,

and sex is merely a bridge
for genes to cross,

not knowledge or understanding.


never a word she says
not that I would listen.
we have woven a cage of lies.
now we live in it.
none can escape the silence,
nor the screams never ending
in our heads.

Lusting For Books

In the hour before training at the union hall begins
I wander into Borders and slaver over books..
My psychologist has told me to curb my appetite
lest I ruin my mind, but the desire is still there.
I take books one by one from the shelves,
fondle them, smell the fresh scent of new pages,
clean and crisp as a woman’s perfumed hair,
run my fingers over the words like the skin
of a paramour, trace the spine of each novel,
with tongue search out the sounds of poems.
Pent up emotions can find no release.
There is no time, no money in my pocket,
and no room in my house for more jealous lovers.

Stuck In The Middle

In the middle of the road
cars race by on either side
so fast they could collide
with any fool who tries
to cross from here to there.

Clouds gather.
Soon it will rain.
There is no safety in

You must choose your way
before a bumper
or lightning
nails down your position.


a block of wood
natural as the sun
that shines upon it
speaks to the carver
with the voice
of its grain
before the fall
of the chisel.


As Augustine sat upon his bench
praying for the vision,
the ecstasy that never came.
it arrived, a tingling in the spine,
a warmth passing over him.

Perhaps he had sat
too long in the sun,
or caught a chill
from a sudden breeze?

Soon after, his mother
who had sat with him, died,
leaving Augustine to fret
and gnaw his fingers,

and rant against sex
and women,
all the while ignoring
the son risen
from his own flesh and blood.

Bio: Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory from 1986 to 2010. His books and chapbooks include Suckers, For the Birds, Longing for the Mother Tongue, Waltz of the Meatballs, and Her Eyes. His work has appeared recently in Toucan, The Hive, A Bad Penny Review, and Verse Wisconsin.


About vision791

Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published thirteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at
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2 Responses to Joseph Farley Returns.

  1. Joe says:

    Excellence. Wonderful imagery and wordplay. Thoroughly enjoyed these poems.

  2. poetdoug says:

    I loved the line: If I had my life to live over, I’d make BETTER MISTAKES!
    (think I’ll have that engraved on my gravestone LLOL

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