Two Poems


by Jeffrey Burghauser (June 2021)

Milky Way, Peter Doig, 1989-90


A Suburban Ars Poetica

Amid the Medieval college bells,
The half-defrosted breeze supplying smells
Of warm baguettes & freshly-showered girls,
The poems neatly thicken, cultured pearls,
Their genesis excited by the in-
Troduction of a tiny, doctrine-
Specific, stinging, rigorously meant,
Precisely-calibrated irritant
Directly into the elastic, bright,
Obscenely circumscribed asylum site.

But I am in Ohio, and the year
Is twenty-twenty-one; the clouds appear
As spiteful as an adolescent boy
Who’s horrified of dancing. Any loy-
Alty to Heaven is a loyalty
Directed to a Somewhere I, or we,
Assemble from assorted parts. Amen.
You’ll know your heaven’s reasonable when
It can, upon the action of a prong,
Be irritated into yielding song.


When all the fathers that you died to please
Are dead, the unread books will cease to tease.
Listen, child: never play the fool—
When we don’t adore, we flay the fool.

Table of Contents



Jeffrey Burghauser is a teacher in Columbus, OH. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Leeds. He currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Fearsome Critters, Iceview, Lehrhaus, and New English Review. Jeffrey’s book-length collections are available on Amazon, and his website is

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

The Great Reset Ad - 2 -

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

For the literature lover in your life on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold. 

For children of all ages. Order at AmazonAmazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order at Amazon US or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.
Follow by Email