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Cover for Gangster Love

Gangster Love

Genre: Poetry
Length: 24 poems


Short chapbook of 24 poems which center around outlaws, gangsters, robbers, gunslingers, and thieves. On loving criminals in spite of, and sometimes because of, their crimes. Set in the Old West or Small Town America, each poem is a story of love. Think Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, or Bonnie and Clyde ... these poems celebrate the allure and romance in such doomed relationships.

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Cocksure, you swagger into the cantina,
full of yourself, hot from the heat of battle
and proud ... unbearably proud.
I loathe you and your sureness, your ease
as you sidle up to the bar, royalty
and not your everyday, common gunslinger.
I loathe your boastful voice, your roaming hands,
your arrogant eyes.

I don't know whether to wrap my arms
around your neck and strangle the life from you, or
sweep you into a strong embrace and never let you go.
Your wildness excites me and
I loathe myself for that.

Later, in the kitchen, I scrub the pots with angry hands
and hate myself as I listen out for the sound of your voice.
When it whispers in my ear, a hot breath from the desert,
I flush from your closeness, your hands
not quite touching my waist, your body
not quite pressed against mine.
I loathe my reaction.
But my brusqueness doesn't put you off for here,
at last, stands the one cook's boy
who doesn't fall in the wake of your passing,
who doesn't stumble over himself to bend over for you.
My eyes widen in surprise at your confidence
when your smoldering lips close over mine.

I hate myself for not
pulling away.