Tobi Alfier – 3 poems

The Man Buys Himself a Guitar to Play the Blues


He’s more of an acoustic guy,

more under the breath,

as if he were humming gently,

his fingers quietly pick the strings

to keep him company.


His voice is good, soft,

doesn’t need an audience

of more than one, as he sadly praises

the open road, his travels lonesome

and long, the women he left behind,

the ones he’s yet to meet.


Sorrow etched on his face,

he entertains himself with near-silence.

Wind through the junipers louder

than his downhearted words. His luck lost quickly,

his farewells a simple nod of the hat

and a start of the truck, his dad’s old pick-up,

it knows the story without even being shifted

into reverse. Such is the light from the window

left behind, such is the love, turning to frost

even as the tires turn the miles to the next

run-down motel, the next song to sing. 






Spares, Strikes, and Extra Olives


Tammy-Lynn worked forty hours a week

at Chandler’s Bowl and Bar. Shitty job,

smelly shoes, sideways looks of pity

on the faces of women who were once

cheerleaders at her high school, now moms

in matching shirts, teams with silly names,

leagues that should be named “Martini”

‘cause that’s what they did—drink themselves

stupid once a week, then call their husbands

to leave the kids for just a minute,

come pick this big kid up. All blonde

with twelfth-grade curls and the same blue

eyeshadow that nabbed their husbands

twenty years ago, the only difference

between then and now is “Playtex”

ain’t a girdle no more, cussing

don’t send your ass to detention,

and there’s better cheap perfume to steal

at multiple choices of drug-store.

Drunk or driving through Dairy Queen sober,

no one remembers just who the quarterback

was, or what exactly happened under the bleachers

the night the team won the championship…

Only poor Mr. James, still sweeping up

the detritus of birth control gone wrong,

knows the answers

to all those small-town questions. 





 Unheard Music


Neglected piano in the neighbor’s yard

in back of their Oxnard barn, the old brown

upright.keys dappled like aging teeth,

dotted with leaves so dry, they cracked

of their own accord ages ago.


No bench, no music, not even

a wobbly old bar stool

doing double duty—

forgotten—out of tune—

a landing pad for cats and crows,


never to play at weddings again.

Like the piano sitting front and center

of an empty ballroom in a Detroit hotel.

The door red-tagged, only light

shushing in through dirty diamond panes


onto the black and white floor.

A lace handkerchief dropped, lies in silence.

Grace for the spirits that play both

instruments on moon-shadowed nights,

melodies climbing, meeting among the stars.




Tobi Alfier (Cogswell) is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee.  Her current chapbooks include “Down Anstruther Way” (Scotland poems) from FutureCycle Press, and her full-length collection “Somewhere, Anywhere, Doesn’t Matter Where” is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review ( 

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

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