Hard-Assed by Garrett Phelan

“I know how sensitive you are
under that cool, snide, hard-assed exterior.”

Give someone an image of yourself
and you could be trapped in it for ever.

Sometimes I’m sick of my own poses.
I want to put my fingers right

through their cancer.
I want to change locks on doors.

An orphan lives inside me
who doesn’t believe home exists—


“training” image by Flickr user Steve Hanna

Line Drawing Garrett PhelanGarrett Phelan is a Teaching Artist (writing and poetry) who has taught with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Washington National Opera among other places. His poems have appeared in a variety of publications including Minimus, English Journal, Potomac Review, The Found Poetry Review, Word Riot, The Foliate Oak, Red Fez, Underground Voices, micro-chapbook Unfixed Marks (Origami Poetry Project) and the chapbook anthology Poetic Art 2010 (Workhouse Arts Center).