A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

Back to Issue Five


Two Poems by Kenneth Pobo

Bobolinko Can't Shoot

If I decide I must shoot someone,

I hope I’m on a staircase

wearing beautiful clothes


in dim light. I fear guns,

but when I saw Bette Davis

shoot Claude Rains in Deception,


I pictured myself as Bette,

not Claude. In high school

my neighbor, Mr. Saunders,


tried to teach me how

to shoot. We put tin cans up

in a field


that became a golf course.

My aim failed. He said I just

didn’t have it. I didn’t.


If I were on a staircase,

I’d crumble, probably give

Claude the gun and apologize.


In beautiful clothes.

In dim light.

Maybe some dramatic music.

The One Time

that Bobolinko got caught stealing

was when he was twelve

in the Save-More Food Store.

He put a Butterfingers candy bar

discreetly in his jacket pocket,

the light blue jacket that

his mom said matched his eyes,

walked past the cashier, and almost

out the door which the electric eye


opened. The store’s boss,

Mr. Feeney, ran up behind him

and said he saw what Bobolinko did.

Feeney called his parents. Bobolinko

apologized and took his two-week

grounding with grace. Still,

he craved a Butterfingers,

which his parents wouldn’t buy him

as they worried about cavities.

And the mortgage. And the Buick.

And the broken air conditioner.


Bobolinko cursed his sweet tooth

and wondered if his future

was wanting what he can’t have,

a hunger, something that burns

even when asleep.

Kenneth Pobo

Kenneth Pobo is the author of twenty-one chapbooks and nine full-length collections. Recent books include Bend of Quiet (Blue Light Press), Loplop in a Red City (Circling Rivers), Uneven Steven (Assure Press), Sore Points (Finishing Line Press), Lilac and Sawdust (Meadowlark Press) and Lavender Fire, Lavender Rose (BrickHouse Books). Opening is forthcoming from Rectos Y Versos Editions. Human rights issues, especially as they relate to the LGBTQIA+ community, are also a constant presence in his work. In addition to poetry, he also writes fiction and essays. For the past thirty-plus years he taught at Widener University and retired in 2020.



Kenneth Pobo