Author Archives: Shawnte Orion

About Shawnte Orion

Shawnte Orion’s first book of poetry The Existentialist Cookbook was published by NYQBooks. He is the current Procrastination Laureate, but his poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Barrelhouse, Gargoyle Magazine, and New York Quarterly. He was a Copper State Haiku Slam Champion and has performed at bookstores, bars, universities, hair salons, museums, and laundromats.

Three Poems (#2) – Shawnte Orion


Emergency Quarters for Phone-booth or Arcade

Your jaundiced mouth 
never opens into speech.
Never yawns into sleep
because your phantoms 
refuse to be confined.

Perforated passageways 
between corridors never open 
to any rooms. Never lead 
to any doors. Never corner 
the immortality of eyes.

The chase is relentless 
on every level. So you binge
on pretzels & berries. 
Still your yellowed mouth 
never puckers for a kiss.

Don’t look back 
because your ghosts 
are never far behind 
no matter how many 
pills you swallow.

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Basho’s Narrow Road to the Nintendo Entertainment System Console

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your princess won’t like
that Napolean Complex
Super Mario

never tell Zelda
what went down in old man’s cave
to earn his white sword

Kid Icarus must
find the fortress nurse or some
parmigiana sauce

guerrilla soldiers 
cheat up up down down left right 
left right B A start
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Three Poems – Shawnte Orion


Bookend Quotes Regarding West Of Memphis

I thought it would be a real movie 

as if the man exiting the theater 
behind us didn’t find 
anything real about a movie 
without actors reading rehearsed 
lines from a doctored script 
while special effects 
steal every scene
as if his date agreed 
that it would indeed be unreal 
to be arrested and convicted 
for a crime you didn’t commit
unreal to be sentenced to execution 
without evidence or motive 
unreal to walk out of a movie 
about someone else spending every 
moment of every day of seventeen years 
waiting on death row just to overhear you 
complain with the sun shining on your face

the movie was too long

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