Brian McCloskey Leibold has worked as a construction laborer, a conservation corps member, a dishwasher, a Papa Johns delivery driver, a Panera Bread delivery driver, and a cashier. His poetry has been published in HeartWood Literary Magazine and Muddy River Poetry Review. He lives in Mount Jackson, Virginia.
Who knows how to go boldly from womb to tomb?
Who knows how to chow on, chow on, chow on
From month to month to month?
Go for cozy worn-down vows.
Long for worth from soft words.
Stop. Hop downtown
To clown off
Or drown on
Old Crow. Lo,
No good to hold on, nod off, slog for gold
From morn to noon, howl for God
From noon to moon. Soon, too soon,
Look, don’t worry, knock on wood
To block knocks on doors
From old knock-down doom.
No good, good world:
Food rots. Fog dogs
Most moods. Moss grows.
Missile Hymnal Amulet
Poems by G. F. Boyer
These are poems of survival—especially survival of religious indoctrination. At the same time, these poems celebrate a rich natural world: the physical and sensory world of plants, animals, and insects; the innocence and presence of nature; and even an animism that overpowers Christian fundamentalism and the increasingly revealed indifference of God. Through it all, time, aging, and dark humor provide a strong pulse, saying life will go on with or without us. The title’s missile, hymnal, and amulet represent the three sides of this conundrum, as rage, beauty, and love interweave in these crisp and incisive poems. “That’s how bayonets are made, you say. The wound is triangular and doesn’t heal easily.”