“Nothing You Need” by John Ronan

22 March 2019 on Poetry   Tags:

Main Street’s a Cheese Shoppe,
Galleries, and a bright brew pub
Featuring pumpkin harvest ale,
Free-range chicken, and kale.
A retro pharmacy with show globes.
The state bank.  Beyond Bordeaux.
Your candles-only.  Your soap-only:
Bricks spiked with pumice and coffee,
Angles cut  in the chic but cruel
Way that marks artful vertu.

Nothing you need.  No hardware,
No grocery or dime store.
No lumber, gravel, or paint,
Nothing to suggest sweat, like the ancient
Ford Escorts and Crown Vics
That appear weekday mornings to construct
Or plumb, clean and leaf blow.
Jesús.  Mary Kay.  Futbol!    
No Pilates or favorite famines,
Peace on Earth, blissful chickens.

In the strip mall south of town,
Distressed denim, cell phones,
And our single Big Box, next
To a ten-screen  - triple X,
Noir at night, G matinees.
A JP and gaming arcade,
The Beer ‘n Booze drive-thru.
Free piercing with large tattoos,
Urgent Care and Candy’s Bar,
A copy center, the Mattress Mart.


John Ronan is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Poetry, a former Ucross Fellow, Bread Loaf Scholar, and Poet Laureate of Gloucester, MA. His book Marrowbone Lane appeared in 2010 and was a Highly Recommended selection of the Boston Authors Club; Linda Pastan has called his work "Very good indeed: original, assured, just a touch sardonic." A new volume, Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown, appeared in 2017. Poems have appeared in Confrontation, Folio, Threepenny Review, The Recorder, Hollins Critic, New England Review, Southern Poetry Review, Louisville Review, Greensboro Review, Notre Dame Review, NYQ, et. al His website is

Coley Spencer currently lives in Nashville, TN working as a labor and delivery nurse and a wedding videographer. She has always loved photography and took extreme interest while studying abroad in Paris. She gets her creative eye from her mother who is an oil painter. Check out more of Coley's work on her Vimeo.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Comment
error: Content is protected !!