Saturday, March 28, 2020

Covid-19: The Lexicon Explained

Death flies past your door
     while you reassess your life---
Sheltering in Place.

The freedom to yell
     "Back up, you mother fucker!"---
Social Distancing.

Pandemic removes
     self medicating stigma---
Stay at Home Drinking.

Mental inventory
     every trip to the fridge---
Disaster Ready.

Hoarding essentials:

     booze, toilet paper, Clorox---
Panicked mob shopping.

Unseen enemy
     steals things taken for granted---
Corona Virus.

Ken Owen       March 2020
Van Niddy Press

Monday, February 10, 2020

Deli Plater: The Movie

Act 1, Scene 1: 

she picks up 
a dropped piece of 
sliced mozzarella cheese 
that had fallen from 
his salami and cheese platter. 

She sniffs the cheese deeply, 
winces slightly, 
looks at him 
with a combination of 
vague disgust and sympathy, 
then places her fingers
under his nose 
and says:

“Smell that?”


That’s not my feet, that’s 
your cheese.”

At that moment, 
he knew.

Ken Owen    February 2020
Van Niddy Press

Friday, January 31, 2020


(Overachieving with women, continued...)

I am fairly certain
she could craft a 
winning argument to
any proposition 
I might propose
while talking 
in her 

Ken Owen   January 2020
Van Niddy Press

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Excuse Me, Miss Dickinson

while at my
favorite book store
I told my friend the 
that he had things in the 
poetry section 
arranged in such a way 
that I had to move 
Emily Dickinson
to get to
Charles Bukowski.

the ironic imagery
was not lost on

hiding behind
the two of them
living next to each other 
in the only place
where that would be 

so I tried
them living next to each other 
in the same 
apartment complex,
each day
holed up in 
their rooms 
writing their observations
within and without,

her window shade open,
the glass clean and sparkling
as she wrote letters
to keep friends close and
visitors away,

and his dirty shade
tattered and closed
while he peered out only 
to see who rang his doorbell 
while he hid
from the landlord,

and each night
Miss Dickinson banging on 
the wall of her apartment
to tell Bukowski
to turn down his radio
as they both sat
in self-imposed

living next door to

only in the

Ken Owen
Van Niddy Press   January 2020

Saturday, December 21, 2019

How To Be

I was having a dream 
that I could not sleep
quite strange I’m sure you’d agree, 
‘cause I couldn’t tell 
who was more confused
the me in the dream or me.

So when I woke up 
I decided
not to question the things that I see,
but enjoy the millions 
of miracle ways
that things know just how to be.

There’s no sense in telling
a river how to run
or a mirror how to look,
and I’ll never tell
a map where it is
or how you should end your book.

I’ll never direct 
the wind to sing
or teach birds how to fly,
there seems no point
to tell rain when to fall
or ask clouds to leave the sky.

As I walk amongst 
my brothers and sisters
I won't tell them how to feel,
but remind myself to question not
the source of love's appeal.

When flowers bloom 
and die too soon
I’ll smile as seasons change,
and let my dreams
say what they will
and not think their message strange.

Ken Owen   
Van Niddy Press   December 2019

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thing I Have Said (Late for Dinner)

“I need to see you.”

“It’s late, you should stay.”

“How do you like your eggs?”

“So, dinner tomorrow?”


“What, what’d I say?!”

“No no, that’s not what I meant!”

“I’m sorry, really.”

“So…ideas for dinner?”


“Geez, what crawled up your ass and died?”

“I was just kidding, seriously.”

“I don’t think I’m the one being unreasonable here.”

“oh fuck.”


“I’m not hungry.”


“It’s not you, it’s me.”


“It’s not me, it’s you!”

“Yeah? Well, maybe you won’t miss me, but your family will.”

“By the way, your [mother, father, sister, brother] is crazy.”

“I’m taking the stainless steel frying pan.”


“Well, what a nice surprise. How long has it been?

"I was sorry to hear about your [mother, father, sister, brother]."

“Ah jeez, that’s messed up.”

“Did you get a second opinion?”

“Doctors, what do they know; they’re all just guessing!”

“Fine, fine; well, I could complain, but we’d be here all night.”

“If there is anything I can do, anything at all...”

“Tell your family I said “Hello”; I always liked them.”

“Well, gotta go; I’m late for dinner.”

Ken Owen 
Van Niddy Press,  December 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019

Snoring in Japanese

As I lie in bed 
between dreams in 
today’s early morning hours
I could have sworn 
you were snoring in Japanese 

I found this to be a
particularly amazing feat
since I am fairly certain you
do not speak Japanese

Then I realized I had 
no way of knowing 
if it was Japanese or Mandarin 
or Cantonese for that matter

your sounds had 
what seemed to me
all the proper inflections of 
an Asian language with its rising and falling
like small gentle waves where 
everything seemed to end 
like a question that I could not answer 
since I did not know the language 

Now wide awake and
listening to the indecipherable 
while studying the lunar landscape of
the bedroom ceiling
I got up to have a glass of water

and upon my return I noticed 
your language of sleep had changed
from a personal dialect to
the sounds of a small purring kitten

and just when I had done 
some preliminary analysis of this new development 
my stomach began to answer you with 
its own language comprised of 
a series of internal sounds generated
most likely
from warm pipes complaining
of cold water

there I was
listening to our conversation 
with it’s rhythmic call-and-response 
that neither of us had any control over
and I was disappointed that you were
sleeping through the whole conversation.

I just thought you 
should know.

Ken Owen   
Van Niddy Press,  November 2019