the rotary dial

best new poetry in form

Weeds are not supposed to grow
but by degrees
some achieve a flower, although
no one sees.

From the June Issue


Like Normal People Do

Ya’ ever wanna go someplace?
I mean...jus’ disappear.
Leave ev’rythin’. But, leave no trace.
Git your ass out o’ here
To somewhere – could be far or near –
Where you’re no longer you.
Where you can dwell, year after year,
Like normal people do.

Ya’ ever stare at your own face
But still can’t see it clear? –
Ya’ struggle hard jus’ keepin’ pace,
While neighbors, they all steer
‘Tween college, marriage, an’ career,
‘Til – somehow coastin’ through –
They barbeque, an’ drink col’ beer
Like normal people do...

Ya’ ever think they won that race,
But still, fall prey to fear
Them dreams ‘n’ rainbows they all chase,
Once gone, won’t reappear?
Or, do they jus’ choke back each tear
As one beer turns to two,
Findin’ it’s Hell to persevere
Like normal people do?

Ya’ see? You ain’t the first to veer
Off course. That much is true.
Or, last to lose all you hol’ dear
Like normal people do.


Johnny Longfellow is a U.S. poet. Previous publications include The Barefoot Muse, The Five Two, and Ppigpenn. The editor of the online street-poetry site, Midnight Lane Boutique, he has served for nearly two decades as a mentor to Newburyport, MA, high school students through the Poetry Soup reading program and print journal.