Two Poems by James Feichthaler

All prayers that go unheard won’t go unanswered

As conscience rummages through the trash of life
The young me wrestled to ambition’s curb —
Used notebooks, empty beer cans, microphones,
Old Nikes, several basketballs, and a blurb
(I penned way back) about some rapper’s beef –
The world is wakening to its usual sins
Of self-importance, self-neglect, self-hate,
While dead men slump into their freezing cars
And start their engines up, reluctantly;
On last legs, weeping at eternity’s gate.
Like them, I’ve longed for something better, to be free
Of bosses’ snarls and hope-starved stressful hours
That fill with meaningless and menial work,
Having screamed my silent prayers into the deaf-eared dark.


From their perspective, everything looks dead

Most here won’t notice Nature’s handiwork,
Despite an office window-seat, which looks
Out on the wintry beauty of a park,
The shimmering lake that’s just beyond their books;
Ignoring the many geese that gather there
To pluck away the remnants of a season,
The brown-leaved trees, the breeze that’s blown them bare,
As though their noting them requires a reason.
Face down in paperwork, or scrolling up
To see what TikTok star’s destroying her rivals,
Their short attention spans prefer the slop
Society offers, drawn to glowing idols
Of soulless nonsense; making extra time
For things that don’t exist in the sublime.


James Feichthaler’s poems and essays have appeared in numerous print journals and e-zines throughout the years; most recently in One Art, Schuylkill Valley Journal, E-Verse Radio, and the Mad Poets Society’s Local Lyrics series. His first book The Rise of the COVFEFE was published by Parnilis Media in autumn 2020. For the past ten years or so, he has been the host of an open mic poetry series in Manayunk, PA called The Dead Bards of Philadelphia. He is also a hip-hop artist (Taliesin aka Big Tal) with a couple of albums under his belt and dozens of songs and music videos up on YouTube.

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