Author Archives: John W Barrios

About John W Barrios

John W Barrios is a writer, editor, sometime essayist, and full-time single father living in Portland OR. His poetry collection Here Comes The New Joy was published by University of Hell Press.

Four Poems – John Barrios

The Lovers - Yves Tanguy 1929

The Lovers – Yves Tanguy 1929


ring the doorbell.
iron will power
down the center of your highways
come in uniform.
hand on the knob.
force the door.
lights off.
you’ll climb. you’ll want.
unsure of new things.
holding your breath.
the whole neighborhood on standby.
likely but unprovable.
amassed yet divorcing. Continue reading


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She said that when she sees a landscape
she "people's" it. I do the exact opposite.
I empty all my sightseeing in a vain
hope of being as alone as I feel.
There's a safety in isolation, there is '
also danger, but not the kind I am 
concerned with here, not in this poem. Continue reading

Three Poems – John W Barrios


Third Floor

on the third floor
on the hottest night

I open the window I close
the window, a dog is barking.
The dog is barking, it is too
hot, it is too cool, breeze,
better to be breezy with a dog
barking, I've decided,
like enjoying lavender bloom
knowing my allergies will ring
the seventh circle of hell inside
my nasal passage, or how
I would love to cuddle certain women
I admire, in a sexless cuddle way,
knowing a boner will slip from the boxers,
but still,
should we avoid all the life
offerings? I'm choosing
to ignore what's right, but it's a one way 
street in the heart, luck,
if two decide.

I've mulled and dreamed 
rose up with a voice
whispers in the shape of my mouth 
taking chances, taking
everything with pain, a dollop 
of sweet mustard; with love
pouring maple
syrup in each waffle square sweet 
love, you play the role of chef so well
cooking and burning
burning and baking
it doesn't matter what we've eaten
before, we always only savor
the mouthful we have

 Continue reading