Clogged ears, nose, and throat.

Moat me.

Cuff the gusts that stuff my gills

with emotional bills unpaid.

Afraid and waylaid by snide asides,

waiting while mentally masturbating.

I prayed

but I’m not the praying kind.

No rock rolled away,

no devout sway saved my day.

Enough of the showboat, bad, caddish laughter,

after and before and evermore, a bore that

keeps replaying like a losing baseball score.

It’s over and done with,

a Smith and Wesson lesson,

shooting yourself in the mindless club foot.

A hoof in mouth moment that you’re trying to sink

in the deepening trench that keeps staying afloat.

Moat me.


Chris Callard


Chris Callard lives in Long Beach, CA, home of the Queen Mary and a bar called Joe Jost’s that has been serving tap beer and pickled eggs since 1924. His poems have appeared in Cadence Collective, One Sentence Poems, and Ariel Chart, the latter of which nominated his “Cannonball Days” for Best of the Net in 2021. His short fiction has been published in Gemini Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, A Story in 100 Words, and ZZyZxWriterZ. He has a novel available on Kindle (but, then, who doesn’t?) entitled “Fakes and Phonies.”


  1. The cadence is enough to grab the attention. The images are magnetic and imaginative. Linda

  2. Thank you, Linda, I appreciate the remarks. Chris

  3. Wow. Bloodied emotions are captured in every line of this work. And its ambiguous meaning can only inspire the debate and conversation that are the hallmarks of true art. Lovely!

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