A Dedication to Violence, or The Chirps of a Swallow at My Window

Mockingbird, take me away like a child chasing nightmares on the backs of sickened wings. Let me cling to the feathers and drift away from this haunted house of constraint 
under the shadow of a crooked cross. 

Let me spear the night sky 
with wishes for a better tomorrow 
instead of a name etched in electric regret.

It’s intoxicating to feel free 
like something that can hop off and fly to anywhere 
at a moment’s notice. 

The shackles of life lie at my feet and I wonder what a bird song 


Here comes the rain.

It was raining in New Orleans. We listened to a Vivaldi record of the Four Seasons acquired when someone’s grandpa passed away. 

We drank beer with the windows open and wondered what life would bring. 

Across the city, streets filled with water, and gutters overflowed. Trash clung against the iron in the drains while we listened to dead musicians play a dead man’s songs. 

We looked out toward a saturated city and took in the humid air. We were happy to not be anywhere else. 


Robert Dean is a working class writer, raconteur, and enlightened dumbass. You can read his work in places like Austin American-Statesman, MIC, Fatherly, and Consequence of Sound. His first collection of poems, Snakes in the Garden is dropping this fall from Madness Heart Press.

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