Dennis Barone

Dennis Barone



I did not think about my shoes and yet I feel them so and the feeling is not unpleasant. It is the knee, the right one, that pings when moved and leaves me wondering why this is so. I recall tying  a shoe, eating a muffin, and other things mundane and ordinary but I do not recall any misstep or unusual twist of the right leg. The fact of my discomfort cannot be denied, but while the white walls in front of me are covered in dark words I have none at my disposal to describe this soreness. I need a crystal ball that makes no forecast but puts an end to a present ache.

New Year’s

Return to sender. Deceased. Unable to forward.


I kneel behind the kitchen island as three masked men assault our refrigerator for food and drink. One reaches right above my head and takes an orange from a wire basket. Patient, the others watch him do so. It is warm out, sunny, and we have no plans to move from here. Yet, I unhitch this island from its ground, start an engine, and get myself out of there, setting a course for life.

In the Public Garden

It is our oasis in this suburb, shrine to a thought provided shape. It whispers to us, something about mutability in an age of steel. Some might sit for a moment and trace letters or retreat behind a parapet so that signification offers an answer to desires unfilled. Some might miss the point, wonder what necessitates such a reason for being and frustrated shun its light.

Principles of Management

If you try to push the envelope from both sides at once it will not move. I know. I have been burning two candles from one end each.



Dennis Barone is the author of seven books of short fiction, including On the Bus: Selected Stories (BlazeVox, 2012) and two novellas: Temple of the Rat (Left Hand Books, 2000) and God’s Whisper (Spuyten Duyvil, 2005). Left Hand Books published his selected poems volume one, Separate Objects (1998), and Shearsman Books published volume two entitled Parallel Lines (2011). He has also published a collection of prose poems The Walls of Circumstance (Avec Books, 2004), and the mixed genre book Sound / Hammer (Quale Press, 2015).