Spring/Fall 2020

Stand-up Comic Girlfriend

By Ken Farrell

“. . . you know what I mean ladies . . .
the right guy is hard to find.
Once I dated a lawyer:

he was stitched with secrets.
In college, I dated
my roommate’s father:

he was woven with lies.
Then I met a man by accident
the fault all mine.

I was burning
my new ex’s comic
book collection, tossing

them out the window
as I drove, and I set
this other guy’s cat on fire.

He was really sweet
about it, so I asked him out.
He’s a poet . . . I see you all

looking around, thumbing phones
to find “poet” on Wikipedia.
He once explained a poet

as someone who travels in words
on a highway with a revolving off-ramp,
in an elevator always stopping

though never stopping
on the same floor. We agreed
when we started dating

he would never travel me
into a poem as long as I never
did a bit about him . . . Yeah

. . . and here I am doing my bit.
I’ll tell you why: one day I was writing—
we shared a desk—and found

a new poem. He’d let me read his work,
even asked my opinion . . . I know, he was
great . . . I read his poem and it said:

            “We didn’t make love.
            We re-invented love.
            And after, we tore it down
            and we started all over again.”

. . . I know, right? So I asked
is it about me? He wouldn’t say,
so of course, I think it isn’t.

I want it to be, but it isn’t.
A few weeks later—same routine—
I come across a new poem. It said:

            “wash yourself in the air
            no, do not wash
            you’ve been in love
            you can never be clean”

and I didn’t even have to ask.”

Ken Farrell

Ken Farrell’s work is forthcoming/published in journals such as Coffin Bell JournalHWP/SPLASH!Sport LiterateThe Piltdown ReviewThe Offbeat (poetry prize winner, selected by Heid E. Erdrich), and Pilgrimage, among others. Ken holds an MFA from Texas State University and an MA from Salisbury University, and he has earned as an adjunct, server, professional cage fighter, and pizzaiolo. For most of ten years, he’s worked in a warehouse. Ken is currently busy revising and shopping poetry and fiction manuscripts, and in response to a challenge from his daughter, who participated in NaNoWriMo, Ken recently began his first novel.

View the website of Ken Farrell

Spring/Fall 2020