Four Poems

Gary Hardaway

Not Dover Beach

If we should disappear,
the planet will be fine.
The sun and its thrall
will be just fine.

The galaxy and universe
will most certainly be fine.
For whom or what would our
disappearance register as loss?

For no one and no thing.
Our disappearance would register
as the movement of a sand grain
on a windy beach full of sand.



My hatred spreads in multiple directions,
wishing to crush enemies in multiple directions,
in a spread like the arms of an octopus,
a baby octopus, whose tentacles
reach a tiny spot of ocean
and leave the stretching spread of evil
untouched and uncrushed.


History and Consequence

There is no history. There are only
stories you accept as true enough

to be believed. The Garden, perhaps.
The five years more war

and thousands of dead without
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

That the war between the states
was a matter of states’ rights.

Fuck the states. They are run
by assholes and corporate interests

anyway. There is no history- only
consequences that will kill us all.


Becoming Stardust Again

The knees,
weak; the
weak; the
I sit,
I should
fold my
self back
into the
ground of
my be-
and await
the sun’s red swell
of annihilation.


Work by Gary Hardaway has appeared at Gumball Poetry, Manifold,
Silkworms Ink, Camroc Press Review, The Olentangy Review,
The Arlington Review, and Blue Fifth Review. He currently lives
in Texas and has earned his living as an urban planner and architect.

Tales from the Motor Trade

Gary Hardaway

Passive Aggressives

We drag-ass in, each one later than the last.
We share an ugly day’s excuses- traffic on 75.
A pissing rain makes Texas drivers lose their minds.
A southbound accident inspires
northbound rubberneckers to crawl, awed by
the twisted, smoldering Corolla and Cavalier.
None of us wants to be here
but none of us has the where-with-all
to be in any other place.

Trade-in Waiting for the Auctioneers

The ’05 blue Elantra chirps away,
its chip-brained, self-protective, security
system draining the battery dead
in small degrees, the full-throated wail
at every rumbling freeway truck
or incidental gust reduced now
to a small cry not unlike
a hungry baby bird’s waiting
for a mother whose feathers cling
to the muzzle of a feral cat.


First, the warm weather wear–
a dark blue golf shirt
with company logos stitched
on each short sleeve.

Then, magnetic name tags—
cheesy little plastic laminate
ovals with the logo again,
one’s name, and the phrase
“Since _ _ _ _”, the blanks
filled in with the year one started.

After that, the cool weather shirts–
light blue, buttoned down, the logo
large between the shoulder blades–
rumored to be sold to us, half price,
by our Owner’s friend’s little
uniform start-up.

And now, the zippered, black,
weather-repellent jackets
with the logo just above the heart.

Regarding Your Appraisal

Your ‘03 Kia Rio hatchback
with manual transmission, clutch slip,
and failed air conditioning

is worth much more to you as transportation
than to us as an investment.
Consider the tires

with their faint memory of tread;
the unmistakable clunk and bounce
of worn-out struts and ball joints up front.

Consider, too, the faint stale smell
of spilled beer and dog piss,
the odometer’s 162,372 miles,

the Coca Cola stain on the front seat
that almost resembles a detail from
the Shroud of Turin. Take the generous offer

of 500 dollars. The 2500 to which you feel
entitled isn’t in the turn of Fortune’s Wheel
for you today or any other day.

A Confirmation of Relativity

The quietude is dreadful. Without
the background sonic turbulence
of currently popular songs,

our time here is left without accelerant.
It burns slowly as rust
on an abandoned tractor.

The buzz of Beyonce
or Taylor Swift distracts us from
the measured tick tick tick

of analog watches glanced at,
in the quiet, at every
three or four sips of coffee.

Ah, the speakers wake with a wave
of Daft Punk chorus. Time resumes
benign, indifferent ambience.


Work by Gary Hardaway has appeared at The Miscreant, Manifold, Camroc Press Review, Connotation Press, The Olentangy Review, and Blue Fifth Review. He currently lives in Texas- his native state-and has earned his living as an urban planner and architect.

3 Poems

Gary Hardaway

Penis Envy

Why would anyone envy one?

It’s such an ordinary little tool

good for aiming piss

and engendering small lumps

of protoplasm. Not one

has ever achieved anything

but common biological acts

unremarkable and repetitious.


Astonished once again by all the blood-

as if such murder in service of a madness

were new. It is as old as bludgeons and

testosterone. The automatic rifles

only make the suddenness and scale

more ruthless and efficient. Men are good

at this and little else.


yourself on the moral force of your

astonishment. Suppress the impulse

to see these bearded Others hung as grisly

ornaments from limbs of hanging trees

in misted forests of righteous retribution.

Do not pray for me 

unless your prayer, like meditation,

brings you clarity and purpose

other than your own sense of value

in a world that seems to mock your God

and your devotion to God

who is the God of your father

and the people you hang out with

Sundays at the Spectacle of God

and Jesus Christ of the Prosperity

of Those in God and Christ Redeemed




Work by Gary Hardaway has appeared at Gumball Poetry, Manifold, Silkworms Ink, Camroc Press Review, Connotation Press, Divine Dirt Quarterly,, The Olentangy Review, Ochre and Umber, The Arlington Review, Eye Socket Journal, and Blue Fifth Review. He currently lives in Texas- his native state- and has earned his living as an urban planner and architect.