3 Poems by Mike McHone


the woman I married passes
for my mother-in-law

a woman who once claimed
after six beers at a fourth of
July cookout

a ‘colored girl’ held her
at knife point in the school
bathroom during the Detroit
riots and that she gave

Robert Plant a blowjob
when Zeppelin played
the Grande Ballroom
in sixty-nine

and every time a blast set fire
to the sky

my wife’s face would flash
in white-ish reds and blinding
whites before it rolled back
into the darkness


my dad worked with a guy named alva
who used to cut off a finger
whenever he wanted a new car

every couple years he’d get bored with his ride
head to work at the paper factory
pick up a fifth of jameson along the way
sink it in the parking lot, get good and drunk
go in, stare down the corrugating machine
and slip a finger inside it, quick and forceful
like an inexperienced boy in the backseat
with his date

a couple of stitches, a few weeks off
an insurance payout, and alva had a new car

one day my dad and I were walking
out of k mart and alva pulled up in a new caddy

my dad knew, but he smiled and asked
‘how you afford something like that, alva?’

the old man laughed, pressed down on the gas
stuck his hand out the window, waved
and flipped my dad off
not that he had a choice


we press palms together
and bare veneers
like the good little children
we’ve pretended to be

all year
and we melt together
at this yearly party
this ancient yearling party
year after year, from now
until the last syllable of
recorded time…

and it’s nothing more
than an orgy of eunuchs
and certainly, by christ,
nothing less

as we put on chapstick
and bend down to kiss
the boss’s ass

Photo by Spenser Sembrat on Unsplash


Mike McHone’s work has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Guilty, Shotgun Honey, Mystery Tribune, the Detroit News, Playboy, the AV Club, and elsewhere. Although he lives in Detroit (and why he lives in Detroit is anyone’s guess), you can pay him a visit at www.mikemchone.com.