Knave / Bar Fly

by Joan McNerney

Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons



Full of himself flaunting
his black leather jacket
covered with silver studs.

Bling hangs from his bulging neck.
Flashy zircons, deep cologne,
tattoos, piercings, purple hair.

Puffed up, he struts across alleys.
Headlight eyes scoping
each corner searching prey.

Pushing down anything
in his way. Sniffing rear
doors, sniffing out death.

His hands move like claws
through shadows with
crooked nails buffed blue.

Lugging a bag of tricks loaded
with brass knuckles, chains,
zip guns, switchblade knives.

Opening his cavern mouth,
smacking wide lips, he drains
a cool cocktail of ruby red blood.


Bar Fly

At Jewel Box Tavern
lights are always dim
so you can’t look closely.

Wearing stiletto heels, she
traipses along followed by
billows of cheap perfume.

Dressed in a second skin of
electric blue velveteen
covered with silver glitz.

She looks for a mark, some
clown who carries thick wads
of cash and a stash of coke.

Tapping the shoulder of
the willing joker with her long
lacquered fingernails.

First she must meet him
in the back alley to pay up
with her pound of flesh.

Showing its age, her face
is coated by pastes, crèmes,
thick rouge, blazing red lipstick.

Her brown eyes encrusted with
liners, mascara and shadow
revealed a certain sadness,

Secreted in the dark and dank
women’s room, she snorts
that magical white powder.

Nothing matters now.
There is no despair
only this embrace of bliss.



Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net.


One thought on “Knave / Bar Fly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s