Monday, July 13, 2020

Rusty Barnes


On a steamy July day in the year
2025 a man will set fire to a trash

can in the parking lot of the former
racetrack at Suffolk Downs which will

jump to a nearby pile of wood
and spread to a set of tires

on an old Ford Focus which will ignite
an explosion which will trigger a flame

and a deluge of smoke which can
be seen from incoming planes

forced to reroute for not being
able to see and panic will ensue.

Right now that young man sits in a room
with many other people watching

fires bloom like mushrooms in the
west. He gets an erection and doesn't

know why. Years later it will come
to him that the way of pleasure

is through fire and he will take his
match and light a licking flame

which will heat his hand as he touches
himself which triggers the orgasm

which will pleasure his brain and he will
think: I love it. I love it. Let it all burn.

Rusty reads "Firebug":

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Rusty confesses: "In the late 2010s, the American west erupted with a series of wildfires which I observed from the safety of my tv screen. In my imagination, it happened next door, at the remains of the Suffolk Downs Horse Track, so I wrote this ugly poem about it."

RUSTY BARNES is a crime writer, editor and poet living in Revere MA. You can find his latest books of poetry at He maintains webspace at

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