Published Poems

Wonderbra Published 4/25/2014 by Les Femmes Folles

posted Nov 21, 2015, 1:01 PM by Bob Plotkin


A  guy named Moe figured on vending

cleavage to millions of girls who wonder

what it feels like. But why (I wonder), when not one

boyfriend or husband ever begged for more.

My mother says all you need is a handful.

Small has benefits–great for a jog, no future sag,

bigger isn’t better, size is a fad.

In her era it was Cross Your Heart, ready

missiles stretching fine cashmere taut, reigning

over pencil skirts in black and white films.

Today it’s Gel Satin, Push-up, Add-a-Size.

Which to choose, The Show Off

or 3 Degrees of Hot?

I’m afraid to approach the rack

to be seduced under this fluorescent glow

to be floored by overflowing foam

to be overwhelmed with wonder.

Reach published by Ginosko, Sugust 2014

posted Nov 21, 2015, 1:00 PM by Bob Plotkin


In the woods I see hands,

hundreds of them like mine

reaching. Sinewy fingers

that tease a lament from steel

wound strings—that pen latticed

tales for spent love and family

affliction to climb—that dab

with nightly brushstrokes

at pointillist sky portraits.

I head down to the sliver

of silver, a blinding beacon,

pressing as with muscular tongue

every trace of sweet and salt before

the mist, the morning, the vision

diffuses among swaying pines.

A false rain falls, blown

from spring’s first fragile leaves.

When I am far from parting

branches, circling gnats

and needled floor that gently

succumbs to passing feet,

I will have my hands.

The Chihuahuan published by Ginosko, August, 2014

posted Nov 21, 2015, 1:00 PM by Bob Plotkin

The Chihuahuan

Nothing as still

Turkey vulture waits

jackrabbit hides

brown recluse stares

resurrection plants

play dead

Stillness tempts

deeper listening

to nothing

Miles of room

boring tentacle of yucca moth

No walls to contain

no strings to vibrate

no instruments to create


from invisible strum of inaudible wind

Each movement swallowed


making nothing

of everything

Gurgling rush of Rio Grande

boom of nighthawk nosedive

summer storm of spadefoot song

Still as nothing

Dissection published by Ginosko, August, 2014

posted Nov 21, 2015, 12:59 PM by Bob Plotkin


I love each part, my penetrating eye

each tendril, vein, it magnifies.


Different from me as light in dark

you scan the fabric of things afar

—furious and calm weaves into whole

intricate fibers, body and soul.

But come, bend down low with me,

look at this rose, see as I see.

The stem a torso honed

and buffed to basalt shine,

prickles bare as bone.

The sepal a motherly heart

sensing when to swaddle tight,

when to let go, break apart.

The petals’ face of winter white,

sensuous its transient looks

fold to demur, curl to invite.

The rosehip a womb, hiding

fruit for thousands more, tensile

berry for finch and waxwing.

To which part do you incline,

your head, your heart, your groin?

But oh, I almost forgot—

you love the whole, and not apart.

Rules of Etiquette published by The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly, January 2015

posted Nov 21, 2015, 12:58 PM by Bob Plotkin

Rules of Etiquette

  1. Do convince her that she is in charge.
  2. Don’t lock doors. Use fear to control.
  3. Do adore her, make her feel loved.
  4. Don’t stay in one place. Move far away.
  5. Do confess old hurts, let her comfort you.
  6. Do use hands, feet, knives, rope, guns.
  7. Don’t discuss with family and friends.
  8. Do encourage lying about welts.
  9. Do apologize. You have no choice.
  10. Do explain that only she can make it stop.
  11. Don’t go out when she is bruised.
  12. Do discourage calls to sisters.
  13. Do stalk her if she leaves.
  14. Don’t be clear about what you expect.
  15. Don’t feel sorry when she cries hard.
  16. Don’t tolerate the small mistake. Punish hard.

Drift Exit on Violin published by The Westchester Review, Volume 8, August 2015

posted Nov 21, 2015, 12:58 PM by Bob Plotkin

Drift Exit on Violin

Within my grasp an ebony freeway, famous

for screeching halts, seized engines, and the endless

straight stretch at full throttle with the top down

past shoulders of wildflowers under spilled out cyan

sky.  Missing any sign of notes, landmark, fret

or fixed target on this accelerating spin, I drift

exit the turn, skitter along the fingerboard bend,

oversteer to nail F sharp, slip, stall out, rev up again.

Ignition ready, choke maxed, I floor it. Will I hit the F

or wipe out, burn, and wreck the glorious finish?

Woe of the Mute Cricket published by The Westchester Review, Volume 8, August 2015

posted Nov 21, 2015, 12:55 PM by Bob Plotkin

Woe of The Mute Cricket

I rub my wings together; a cello

drawing its bow across the strings of night,

a serenade to draw the female close,

shriller quavers to speed a rival’s flight.

But my lusty ballad is overheard

by a fast descending parasitic fly

who’d lay her larvae on me, make me her

darlings’ breakfast, lunch, dinner, ’til I die.

If I change my tune, sidestep gruesome death,

cease my wooing, your love I sacrifice;

I long to set the lure, with ardent  breath

await your touch, and let the short days fly.

But it’s moot, cruel Darwin’s made the choice

to let me live, but grant not love or voice.

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