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b e mccomb Apr 2019
have you ever looked
at a house and felt
a crippling pain that
you couldn’t go in it?

i have
every day i see my own
front porch
and every day i see the house
still in someone else’s name
but not for much longer

the first hurt is raw
ripping and searing
through my heart
and running into hot
cinnamon fire tears
burning my cheeks

the second hurt is dull
stinging like a
badly sharpened knife
over skin or knowing
what your birthday
present is but having
to wait while not
letting on you know

i grew accustomed to
the custom of becoming
myself in this house
but the walls i grew up in
grew inward too tightly
around me to choke me

and still i have
a pillow to bury my
face in at night
a shower to wash off
the day dust
a kitchen to stand in
when i’m feeling
a bit lost

but lost is the only
feeling i have
when i’m here
in this house

i don’t live here

i live on my feet
behind counters
through the parking lot
and up the sidewalk

slipping in before
the sun is up
and dragging out
when others are in bed

feeling small
on a dull afternoon
when i can only curl
up on the couch
to think
and wait

time in between
that’s now

time between shifts
and time between living
in my house
and finding my home

it’s not so much
the waiting game
it’s the feeling
that i’m alone

that nobody
wants me

so close and
yet so far
almost there
but stuck here

just keep
the worn floors clean
music playing
and make sure
the janky old doors
are locked at night

this is my town
this is my home now

this town will take
care of me

as i’m wandering through it
halfway homeless
copyright 4/219 by b. e. mccomb

the second the paperwork goes through i’m leaving for good
Chirayu Writer Oct 2018
Why I am drowning
Because I am letting me drown,

Why I am going into depression
Because I am letting me go in the depression

Why I am living in hell
Because I am letting myself to
live in the hell.

Everything is happening because
"I am letting"so it happens with me."
b e mccomb Oct 2018
oh the joys of idyllic
small town life in this
whitewashed village where
everyone knows everyone
and everyone knows
everyone’s business

where the groceries are
overpriced and the taxes
are high and everyone but
the wife knows he’s cheating

where everything is a scandal
and nobody will admit to knowing
anything but they’ll still talk
about it behind closed doors

there are supposedly prostitutes
on main street but i only ever see
the drunk and drugged out there
and if someone is single there is
someone determined
to find them a match

all and all a very pleasant
charming life we lead here
what with all the arrests
and the highway department
yammering away on things
and the way the tops of the semis
scrape the bottom of the
traffic lights on their way though

something charming about
the way the sides of the buildings
all need a good power washing
and there’s probably lots of
good clean arsenic in
the water supply

a most sleepy
little burg
they say

spend some time
with us and
you’ll find a community
you’ll find a home

you’ll also
find a thing or two
you’ll wish
you didn’t know
copyright 9/24/18 by b. e. mccomb
Gwilled Cheese Sep 2018
Hello Pop,
You said you liked a good story.
I'm no good at tellen stories, coz you were always the one that told'em and I was always the one that listened but,
I got one now.

Not a nice one.
None'a that feel good **** you see on TV.
But, it's a story
and I owe you one.

It's about you,
the bits you missed,
and me:
the not so good for a so called 'good kid'.
Not that many called me that
then you went and did.

Made me think I couldn't be so bad.

Yet here I am.

Throwin stone's when I've got no one to hit.
Too bored to eat or sleep, just fucken spit.
Wishen that great god gave me someone to hit.

I'm a sick girl, ya know.
That's what they tell me.

Sick compared to those straight kids -
the pride of Glory Spring.
"Glory to God!" they all fucken sing
and even me who can’t speak good
can still recite that invisible,
He was your favourite story and everyone elses, after all.
Vicar Roy made sure of that.

Vicar Roy.
With his crinkly eyes
his toothy grin
the way he wouldn't blink when you challenged him.
God while god was hiding from the mess he made,
but God was doin’ nothen for me.
Ma saw that before you could.
She wanted me out,
She wanted me taken to a real city so they could study my head,
the way it worked.
The way my words never came
just a crooked grin.
But, even when the crayons became weapons
and the kittens went missen
The Vicar went and blessed me the same way.

Glory Spring, with its neat little rows of cottages and cabbage gardens,
so evenly cut.
Soft colours,
bright greens.
So good,
Then I came along.
urban wild
itchen for a stomach slit
goin' "Guts for you"
after "Treat or trick?"
setten haystacks on fire
tryen to find the pin
only to drop it on purpose.

Are you scared of me, Pa?
I think even God is scared of what he created.
That's why we never see him,
but I'm here now Pa.
You can't hide from me
and I gotta story of why you don't gotta no more.
Aa Harvey May 2018

I live in a small town,
With the lights down,
In the back end of nowhere
And that is exactly where I am going.

I dress like a big clown,
In my small car.
My head looks through the sunroof
And all I can see is a city of stars.

I have spent a lifetime pretending,
That I am going to leave this place.
Everybody can see that I don’t really care.
My apathy only hides my truth; my life is such a waste.

As the rain drops fall onto my window,
I hear the distant memories.
They are calling to me like angels;
I can’t see where they are, but they are all around me.

So I reach out with one big shout!
Begging for protection, from myself.
My remedy is not seen, so I sink into a hole.
If I could find a way out,
I would find a way to make something of myself.

A collage of emotional scars,
That show that I have come so far.
The pavement my driveway,
I turn left into yesterday
And all I remember is the loss of it all;
The things we do are what we are.

I walk on the freeway.
The grass is green beneath my feet…

They shout “Fore!”…

My headphones do not rescue me.

(C)2017 Aa Harvey. All Rights Reserved.
Kaity Apr 2018
summertime blues are rolling around
swinging and dancing in the breeze
before it's too late get out of this town
get out while you still have dreams

she quickly gathered all of her things
she made sure to clean up the mess
if only he hadn't kept the other ring
then he wouldn't have a hole in his chest

they say that nothing is ever new around
that every day is just as the last
but this is not just any quiet town
secrets lie in the dark shadows cast

summertime blues are rushing in
don’t let them sweep you off your feet
say goodbye to your innocence
say goodbye to your dreams
b e mccomb Apr 2018
the day starts with shirley
who comes in just after eight
for her 20oz chai
"what kind of milk?"
"doesn't matter"
punches her own coffee card
tells me about her puppy
kayla is next her hair and
makeup always perfect
about as nice a landlady as
one can have in a town like this

from there it's a constant
stream of people
who i watch out for and
who don't know i'm doing it

janice lives alone and thinks
people are stealing her money
doesn't understand
the tests her doctors want
she can't remember
what she always orders
it's a turkey club sandwich no bacon
on toasted oatmeal regular chips no pickle
a to go box for the leftovers
and some kind of chocolate treat in a bag
because she only eats when
she comes in here

two weeks ago
i accidentally switched
barb's 12oz soy chai
with someone else's
12oz whole milk chai
it wasn't enough dairy
to give her a problem
in fact she didn't seem
to remember it
but i made her another for free

nic stopped for his afternoon coffee
didn't laugh at anything just stared
blankly into space and said he
thought he was getting sick
had too many things to finish
the day before when i was waving
to him from the parking lot
so i took my dog to the
back door of his office and
we barked until he came out
patted us both on the head
and said he felt better

we're all creatures of habit
like mckenna who arrives
like clockwork
between one thirty and two
tuesday through saturday
leans on my bake case while
i count my tips and add random
ingredients to different drinks
in a reckless attempt
to break up the monotony
and he drinks them all
like clockwork
no matter how bad they are

rita doesn't smile since she broke her hip
in fact i haven't seen her since
walt got sick and he and joan
moved upstate to be closer to their son
i worry about something happening to ray
who will take care of rita?
whose laugh used to echo off the walls
and fill the place up
pat's smoking again and it turns out
he has congenital heart failure
gail had a fall, a stroke and
suddenly died

i make the same dumb jokes
only a few people smile at
i sing to myself
and people point it out

karen sits in her motorized wheelchair
ice and snow dripping from the wheels
onto the scratched, muddy floor
and tells me i'm pretty and funny
and have a beautiful voice and
i look at karen, her head tilted to
the side and spit hanging from her
buck teeth and wonder why such a
wonderful funny girl with a heart of gold
had to have the body she's stuck in

why life is ****
and why i'm trying
i swear i'm trying
for something
i don't know what

why we fight
why we try
to make the world
a better place
when nothing can really change
any of these dismal facts
copyright 4/6/18 b. e. mccomb
Betsy Garris Feb 2018
He said to me
I'm gonna get outta here
Check out a different sphere
Of reality
Unless I meet
One of those county girls
Who wants to stay in this county world
And raise a family

Well that got me thinkin'
About all of the small town life
Everywhere there just seems to be a fight
To not get stuck.
You know I've been thinkin'
Bout all of these choices
Bout all of these voices asking me
Where I'll end up

The more I stay
The more I find
My piece of peace of mind
Comes and goes like waves
In this
Tidal Town.

A song lyric I began over the summer, that lingered through the fall, and has been buzzin in my brain ever since. A friend yesterday said something that inspired the first few lines and it fit so perfectly.
Here's to small towns.
This one is for St. Mary's County.
Muskan Kapoor Feb 2018
unknown people
unknown minds
known hearts

It was neither the people
Nor the small cafe’s
In this small town
Which made me
Feel like
One step in this dreamy
Place, with hundreds of
Trees all around
And uncanny spots.
The city couldn’t
Hold me in her
Huge arms,
So I stepped back
And came here.
The regular diners,
The same faces everyday,
Gossip flowing like wind
In autumn,
But it felt more and more
Like I was meant for it
Because the hearts of people
In this small town
Were still painted red,
Not black with a tint of grey,
Like city people.
 It was neither the people
Nor the small cafe’s
In this small town
Which made me
Feel like
Joe Cottonwood Nov 2017
In my little town
dogs sleep on the street
and act affronted
when you drive on the bed.

My little town allocates resources
in proportion to priorities.
We have one school
two churches
and three bars.

The teenage boys in my little town
gather by the pond after dark
with big engines and little cans of beer.
They steal the Stop sign, stone the streetlight,
moon a passing car.
But at least
we know where they are.

In my little town some girls keep horses
in their back yards. Above the dogs and surly boys,
they cruise on saddles astride a big beast,
dropping opinions as they meet.

On the Fourth of July
the whole little town
has a big picnic.

The ducks on the pond in my little town
waddle across the road each afternoon
a milling, quackling crowd
round the door of the yellow house
where the lady gives them grain.
When it rains,
they swim on the road
or sleep there, like dogs.

On a cold morning
the woodsmoke of stoves
lingers like fog
in my little town.

We hold village meetings
where a hundred-odd cranks and dreamers
***** for a grudging consensus.

We cling to the side of our mountain
building homes, making babies
beneath trees of awesome height.
We work too hard, play too rough,
and sense daily something sweet about living
in our little town.
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