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John Dorsey

Greg Before the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Ballad of Mick Ronson

The Prettiest Girl in La Junta, Colorado

Greg Before the Fall of the Berlin Wall

in 1984 greg made flowers out of iron & wood
& black ink

molded drama with his bare hands
from clay and the ancient stars
hidden in the city sky

when he drank too much
he could still remember all of the lyrics
to rock you like a hurricane

he could build a trojan horse
for helen of troy
inside his own heart
& tell time by the sun

to keep him
from getting lost.

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The Ballad of Mick Ronson

for maybe the thousandth time
greg mentions that his father
once compared mick ronson to chet baker

one man’s rhythm is never the same as another

there isn’t enough whiskey here
to keep his sadness out

it’s just a good thing they’re both dead
or they’d have to sit here
listening to his story too.

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The Prettiest Girl in La Junta, Colorado

works the graveyard shift at the loaf n jug
on the corner of north third street
where the county sheriff
comes to get his coffee
every sunday at 2:32 am

she may be the only girl for miles

he tells her a corny joke
& thinks about what
their children might look like

even though she went to school
with his daughter

while she thinks about pricing toilet paper
& off brand soda
& candy bars covered in sugar
or nothing at all
at this time of night

barely out of high school
it still feels like
she hasn’t smiled for a generation

hasn’t given her heart
to the wind.

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John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016), Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017) and Your Daughter's Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at

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