Ghost in the Closet

I moved into this roominghouse

There was an opening because

Some poor dude hanged himself

In the closet

The landlord nailed the closet door shut

With six nails

He tells me he is taking ten dollars

Off my rent because of the closet space

I thought that was great. More beer money.

“You’re not scared of ghosts or anything.

Are you dude?”

“Why should be? The closet door is nailed shut”

I went to the beer store for a 12-pack

Then to the hardware store and bought a hammer

Went back to my little room and took all

The nails out of my closet

Just in case any ghosts wanted out.


Published in Megaphone

Special Literary Issue.


Copyright c By Henry Doyle




The bus from Montreal is late


I turn my pockets inside out in the rain

dreaming of shotguns in the sky


My rotting heart sings in the downpour

Alice’s big white rabbit comes on by


and gives me a gram of magic mushrooms

to rescue me from your world.


“The rotting of a heart…”

Charles Bukowski, from “Practice”

in The Roominghouse Madrigals.


Copyright © 2017 by Henry Doyle

Published in Geist magazine

Number 104

Spring 2017


It’s 6 a.m. when the lights turn on

in a white-washed drugstore,

as if it were a little theatre

shining out onto the sidewalk.


The regulars are there

walking around in tight circles

like chickens on hot plates

waiting for their next government fix.


Just before work, I always get hit up

for a smoke by Freddy Fridays.

He’s from Toronto like me

but a few years older,

remembering T.O. at its best

when it comes to sex, drugs and rock’n’ roll.


He’s 6’1 and looks like a tobacco farmer from Tillsonburg

with his John Deere ball cap,

worn-out jeans and Levi’s jacket.

A face wrapped in skin on bone,

long black hair, coal eyes,

teeth rotten and stained

with twenty years on the crack pipe,

arms full of the needle and the damage done,

a voice like smoky wind

spitting out dust about

the good ole days of Toronta.


I give him a smoke. His nerves

light it right away as he stares

at that little lit stage, waiting

for his Methadone juice

and the next act.


I light another smoke myself and watch

the store next door unload

a dolly full of boxes

with big blue letters spelling



Copyright © 2017 by Henry Doyle

Published in Geist magazine

Number 104 spring 2017

Fuck the Poets

I write becauce my soul is on fire

All my sins and fears are here

It’s just another sick Tuesday

In the middle of the end

When time stops

Then cracks into two

You’ll find me there.


Copyright © 2015 by Henry Doyle

Published in  Voice to Voice: An anthology of music and transformation

Thursdays writing collective.

Edited by Elee K Gardiner, 2015  Otter Press.