Mike Lewis-Beck

Ted’s Dad

I remember Ted talking
about his dad roaming
around his big old house
in Baltimore, an old row house.

Now I’m Ted’s dad’s age
and I roam around
my big house
in Ann Arbor, an old Victorian.

I wonder does my son
wonder about my roaming
around up and downstairs,
to the basement, in the kitchen alone.

When he called yesterday
he said we were going
for a drive by the old home
place outside South Haven.

You’ll see the cornfields
peach trees, cherries in bloom.
It’s on our way to a new place,
a place you’ll like—believe me, he said.

Nietzsche Said

Turin was the only city worth living in
but he went mad anyway on a Sunday
walk around Parco Valentino in January,
with wet snow falling on a pewter afternoon.

Men of a certain age with dogs and turds in tow
stand at the gate of the Valentine Palace, now
built for luxury flats, without a ballroom.

Still-marking the dead space stands
a dance hall at the park edge, its bright color blaring

The door can be opened but the dancers lack music
and the ticket taker yawns.


Mike Lewis-Beck works and writes in Iowa City.  He has pieces in American Journal of Poetry, Alexandria Quarterly, Apalachee Review, Big Windows Review, Cortland Review, Chariton ReviewGuesthouse, Pure Slush, Pilgrimage, Rootstalk, Seminary Ridge Review, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, Writers’ Café and Wapsipinicon Almanac, among other venues.  He has a book of poems, Rural Routes, recently published by Alexandria Quarterly Press. He also just received a Finalist award for the poem, “The Way the Music Died,” (Palm Beach Poetry Festival Ekphrastic Contest, 2019.

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