Featured Poet: John D. Robinson

(BIO, links to purchase books, and publications list below)


Born in Havana in 1891 to farming

labourer parents; he emigrated

to Miami in about 1920;

his livelihood was cigar rolling and

tobacconist and then he

moved to NYC and then

finally to Philadelphia;

he married and gained a son

and everyday after a 10 hour

shift of factory work he’d

return to his small and

humble apartment and

create breath-taking; astounding

works of art

and he never showed another

living soul these works;

never uttered a word to

anyone; kept no correspondence

with anyone; did not know

or socialize with artists and

he stole materials from the

factory to make beautiful

and astonishing collages of

human condition and political

absurdity and it is rumoured

that his son assisted with some

of these works and in

1983 some 20

years after his death,

discovered in a garage-sale was

nearly 800 works

from the artist, the healer, the man

who produced for the sake of

beauty; pleasure; love;

creating not for money; fame; ego;

and now his works are

analysed and priced far

beyond the means of any

factory worker and maybe

Felipe Jesus Consalvos

would feel really pissed-off

with this bullshit.




I know low-life,

I’ve lived it, breathed

it: cheated, robbed,

lied and betrayed

most and myself:

I’ve been cold and

distant and brutal

and self-sacrificial

but even in that

place there are

unspoken codes and

rules as there are

in all worlds:

but you over-stepped

and people got hurt,

some of them


soon enough,

the blood on your

hands will

be your own.



From the age of 7

she can remember

always feeling hungry

and guilty and the

verbal, physical and

sexual abuse by her

parents, older siblings

and other sick


she ran away at 15,

lived on the streets,

sold her flesh and

her soul for junk,

at 21, she awoke in a

hospital bed,


and 2 stab wounds to

her stomach

and she pulled


18 months later,

aged 23

she wasn’t so lucky.



‘Look’ she said, mobile phone

in hand; she slowly flipped

through a series of photographs

of her nakedness swollen and

smothered in bruises and

traumatic injuries:

‘I woke up in agony, I had no

idea what happened, I called

the police and of course no

one in the house knew

anything about it’

she was shaking and


she was frightened, as she’s

been for 25 years:

11 years of constant booze

and drug addiction, clean

and sober for 3 weeks:

‘I feel good, I’m in

control, you know, I can

think now’

she told me and smiled

a beautiful smile, it

felt like a new world

that she’d just stepped into

for the first time

and seeing a reflection

of herself

and not recognising

who she was looking at.



She pledged that she’d never

use again, swore on her

mother’s life, she’d never

score again

and she meant it too,

during this time we got to

know each a little, I never

told her how I felt about

her, I should have told

her but it would have

made no difference to

us or the world, but if

there is something I

regret not saying to you

was that I loved you

but you went away, back

to a place that would

keep you away from me

forever, to a world of

dirty-works and disease

and hopelessness and

we were so young but I

know now that you

had already written your

script and that it pushed me

away from you, per haps

out of thoughtfulness,

of temporary self-


we never did say

goodbye and I’m glad

of this

as this is something

I never wanted to

say to you.



‘I don’t care what you

write anymore, no, I

don’t mean that, but

everybody is making

a profit out of you,

don’t you see it?

tell me, whose the mug?

they publish you, right?

they send you 5 or 10

copies of the book

and you give these away,


but the publisher, they

sell their copies, right?

but that doesn’t bother

you does it?

‘Right’ I said

‘Right’ she said.



She never knew of love,

the way she imagined it

would be;

it wasn’t being beaten

senseless by a speed-

freak or laying on the

streets unconscious as

the wino’s pissed and

masturbated over you

or of losing children

to hospitals and prisons

or knocking on the door

of an old friend; fragile

and vulnerable and of

how, that night, he

cared for you, looked

after and comforted

you and you offered

yourself to him but he

played it away and

rolled another joint

and when he handed

you the smoke, you felt

something as your fingers

touched, he felt it too but

neither said a word,

looked silently at one

another and relaxed into

a smile and then he

moved away, put on a

Miles Davis

disc and uncorked

another bottle,

both of them dare

not let go of what

and how they felt and

later she left by taxi;

next time he saw her,

several weeks later,

she was being




‘What the fuck

are you doing on our

garage roof at midnight?’

he asked in a whisper:

I was intoxicated and his

suddenly opening his

bedroom window had

startled me:

‘I’ve come to see your

sister’ I told him:

‘Is she expecting you?’

he asked, smiling,

knowing me a little:

‘Kind of’ I replied ‘here,

have a drink’ I said

offering up the bottle

of wine: he shook his

head; ‘Come in and

be quiet’ he said and I

climbed in:

‘Thank you’ I said;

‘Be sure to leave by the

fucking front door and

don’t fucking disturb me

again’ he told me: he was

15 years old and his sister

was 6 years older than he

and I was a few years older

than his sister and we were

in love and her parents

knew nothing of our

romance and this was

best for all concerned:

at 4am I left the house

by the front door:

‘Goodbye’ she said from

her bedroom window:

‘Yeah, see you again’

her brother said from

his bedroom window

before softly closing it.



It was when he pulled a knife

that I backed off,

the corridor was narrow

and a crowd surged

behind me unaware of this

drunken asshole, a stranger

angry and fucked up with

a threatening blade:

the discotheque music

was blistering and

people were shouting to

be heard; my girl grabbed

my arms as two security

black-uniformed thugs

smashed the knife guy to

the floor: the party-people

quickly quietened to

witness the punches of

public order hammer

into the face of the

unconscious steel-wielder

and then the cries and

screams came in protest

for the two heavies to

stop the beating and it rose

above the D.J., it towered

above the approaching

police and ambulance sirens

and it sounds today,

everyday, everywhere,

just listen.

John D Robinson July B&W portraitJohn D Robinson is a UK poet: hundreds of his poems have appeared in small press zines and online literary journals including : Rusty Truck: Outlaw Poetry: North Of Oxford: Tuck Magazine: Misfits Magazine: The Sunflower Collective: Winamop: Bear Creek Haiku: Chicago Record: The Legendary: Paper and Ink Zine: Algebra Of Owls: Full Of Crow: The Beatnik Cowboy: The Clockwise Cat:  The Scum Gentry: Message In A Bottle: Horror Sleaze ,Trash: Your One Phone Call: In Between Hangovers:  Rasputin: Revolution John: Vox Poetica: Hand Job Zine:  48th Street Press: Poems-For-All: Philosophical Idiot:  The Peeking Cat: Midnight Lane Boutique: Underground Books: Dead Snakes: Yellow Mama: Bareback Lit: Eunoia Review: Hobo Camp Review:

His published solo chapbooks are

‘Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Press 2016)   scars.tv/

‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016   sold out)

‘An Outlaw In The Making’  (Scars Publications 2017)

‘Hitting Home’  (Iron Lung Press 2018  2nd edition)   ironlungpress.bigcartel.com/about-ironlungpress

‘In Pursuit Of  Shadows’  (Analog Submission Press 2018  sold out)  www.analogsubmission.com

‘Echoes Of Diablo’  (Concrete Meat Press 2018)  adrianmanning.wixsite.com/concretemeatpress

Too Many Drinks Ago’  (Paper & Ink Zine Publication 2018)


NOTE:  Several of John D. Robinson’s books can also be found for sale on Amazon.com.