Say What You Will

Our town ventriloquist
amazed without a dummy,
putting his words into the mouths
of local people and their pets.

Politicians on TV certainly benefited.
It took skill, so few of us even bothered moving our lips
after a few years of silence and/or doubt.

Especially uncomfortable conversations
he would have with himself

when neighbors weren’t around to hear.

-Brian Beatty

Brian Beatty’s poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The Bark, Conduit, Dark Mountain (England), The Evergreen Review, The Glasgow Review of Books (Scotland), Great Walks (Australia), Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney’s, Midwestern Gothic, The Moth (Ireland), Opium, Paper Darts, Phoebe, The Quarterly, Seventeen, The Southern Poetry Review and The Sycamore Review.

Beatty’s the author of the collections Coyotes I Couldn’t See (Red Bird Chapbooks 2016) and Brazil, Indiana (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, forthcoming).>