Three Poems

by Mark Young

A musing for Emperor Qin

I am smoking filters

now, but still sit outside

to smoke them. Extinguish

the finished cigarette by push-

ing the lighted tip into a bucket


of sand. Twenty butts from the day's

smoking, brown ends staring up at me.

Some day I might bury the bucket.

What for? Future fame. Think

of the terracotta warriors.


Piazza d'Italia

The rebellion of the trains has become more widespread. They dawdle in the open air, leave their tracks & take to the parks & other open spaces, stopping often to smell the flowers or to pet small animals. In the tunnels they now insist on being preceded by pipe bands, & drum majorettes twirling flaming torches. Fast-food outlets have become the new stations, as the trains take advantage of such offers as the free 1.25 liter bottle of Pepsi when they buy an additional cheeseburger along with the standard whopper burger & fries. They pay in coins of coal, notes of diesel, & deign to take on more passengers only after a siesta has aided their digestion. Even then the trains will let the passengers board only after they've signed one of the many petitions they have circulating. The nature of the latest is a demand that the voting age be lowered to four carriages.


eine kleine nachtmusik

& then there

were the



when he

would dress up

as St. Cecilia


& boogie

with the boys

in the band.


Mark Young is the editor of Otoliths, lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, &
has been publishing poetry for more than fifty-five years. His work has been widely
anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages. He is the author
of over twenty-five books, primarily poetry but also including speculative fiction & art history.
A new collection of poems, Bandicoot habitat, is due out from gradient books of Finland later
this year.

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