Paul Smith

Paul Smith lives in Skokie, Illinois. He is a civil engineer who has worked in the construction racket for many years. He has traveled all over the place and met lots of people. Some have enriched his life. Others made him wish he or they were all dead. He likes writing poetry and fiction. He also likes Newcastle Brown Ale. If you see him, buy him one. His poetry and fiction have been published in Convergence, Missouri Review, Literary Orphans and other lit mags.


There will be a decade
when you have no friends
it starts out innocently
with you and them posing
for pictures of each other
wearing one of those goofy
Groucho Marx eyeglass/mustache doodads
all of you thinking your silliness
is the height of decadence
it goes downhill from here
you try selling them timeshares in
the Cayman Islands
and when that doesn’t work
you hit them up for jobs
soon you both realize you’re not
just people who’ve become acquainted
through the mutual acquaintance of desperation
so now you are pretty much on your own
and do not go through
 a transformation
an epiphany
or a metamorphosis
you just get out of this decade
the way you entered it
like Tiresias
or Blind Lemon Jefferson
or Homer
suddenly new people gravitate to you
mistaking you for Homer Simpson
and it dawns on you
your life is a three panel comic strip
you don’t remember the first panel
the second featured you being a jerk
and now you are at the denouement stage
it  comes to an end
and all your friends laugh at you