John Turner


I never considered age differences in the dead --
I mean
Dead is no more birthdays, right
But there certainly is
Old ghosts lord it over the newbies
At least those with some staying power
The murdered, the raped, the violently violated
They hang around; the die-in-your-sleep kind
Just pass right on over
Diana is still shaking hands and holding parties
While the queen mother is already gone
I don't think Joan of Arc will ever leave --

Now and then we get a real influx of crashers
The Titanic crowd, now they had plenty of trauma
And all that old money haughtiness, you know --
They threw their weightless weight around just as you'd expect

You'd think the holocaust and pogrom victims would be swamping the streets, but no
Oh there's a few here and there, but mostly just walked right on through
Something about advance payment, you figure it out.

There's a rush of New York types
Some chasing stray pieces
Some still beating at fires that no longer burn
Some pounding melted cell phones
not yet sure what gives;

More cops and firemen than you'd ever imagine,
We'll never get away with anything here again

The old ghosts gather in howling winds,
In dark streets at the dim of the day
And wonder, with their eyeless jaws and toothless tongues
Just what to do with this yuppie crowd
But there's nothing.
They'll be wandering around here
For a good long time to come.

Date of Birth: August 7, 1952
Location: Davenport, Iowa
Occupation: Instructor at Scott Community College
Publications: Short Stuff, Samsara Quarterly, Astronomy, Lyrical Iowa, Squashblossom, Black&White, The Poet, Stirring V2:E3, etc.
Awards: James Hearst Poetry Award; first on-line Slammaster for Simon&Shuster and Warner Brothers; judge of Third Fusion Poetry Competiton
Other: Written/Starred in 17 plays in last 12 years in Quad City area
Experience: Stirring Associate Editor : September, 1999 - present

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