Arts & Culture
12:24 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

POEMS: Milwaukee Writer Explores 'Addicts & Basements'

Robert Vaughan's first full-length book features poems, short stories and prose-poems about the darker side of human nature.
Robert Vaughan's first full-length book features poems, short stories and prose-poems about the darker side of human nature.
Credit Civil Coping Mechanisms

Milwaukee author and poet Robert Vaughan - known to WUWM listeners as the editor of our Flash Fiction Fridays editor - has just published his first full-length book, Addicts and Basements.

He shares a piece out of the book, courtesy of publisher Civil Coping Mechanisms.

Bonus Question

A late night call into the all-night radio station the deejay is waiting for the answer to the bonus question

When, suddenly, at 3:17 in the desolate morning, the phone rings
he picks it up, the woman on the other end says, huskily, for the
whole country to hear:

Will you love me? Sorry! Wrong Answer!

But somewhere, lying in the darkness, and staring into pitch black,
someone who has never seen her face whispers yes.

Vaughan also has a new chapbook out, called Diptychs + Triptychs, Lipsticks + Dip****s (Deadly Chaps Press), featuring this three-part (aka triptych) poem:

"Three for Carol"

I Really Don't Know Clouds At All:

When the conversation evaporates, perhaps it's like the clouds vanishing before the dominance of the sun. When words fail, stay. Have the awkward courage to stay, my love, and wait for words or an act, or the arrival of an enormous butterfly.

Flying From the Empty Nest:

I have discovered that I can fly: waking, missing, embarking, sacrificing, obviously we are morons. Send love.

It's a challenge not to hit a tree limb.

Do write.

Meet, receive, rent, return.

I have discovered that, although I am not a one-winged creature, I can fly.

Circle of Dance:

The smoke where we dance does not fade.

I see the roaming circle where we navigated our identities.

The dance has hands that reach into us like hunger. Where did you go after we burst against each other.

I hear waterfalls, taste saffron, touch elephants. This is how you left me, as night crashes down and the never heard song begins to play.

Vaughan will be reading at Boswell Book Company, opening for author Gina Frangello, Monday evening. He'll also be giving a week-long workshop this July at The Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay, Wis.