Pissing in Public Urinals by Rusty Barnes


Pissing in Public Urinals 


I feel as if I could write a poem,

about all the different places


men can do it. Now in Paris,

gaily-painted red urinals


along the Seine right out

in the open. Just straighten up


and let fly I guess. As if

men can't control them-


selves better than women.

Paul Blackburn wrote 'Peeing


All Over the Peninsula'

and William Matthews wrote


'Pissing Off the Back of the Boat

into the Nivernais Canal.'


I feel as if I should dignify

my pissing with my own poem,


but the truth is I've never

pissed anywhere exciting,


unless it's been off the tailgate

of a slow-moving truck,


or fifty yards behind a tree

so as not to ruin the stand


with my scent or in an alley

behind a strip club in the Combat


Zone once in the freezing cold AM,

but those aren't exotic locales.


I'm unembarrassed to admit them

but once there was this woman


who held me in her hand while

I did it in a bathroom; I think


she is worth a poem but I'll think

hard and long before I write it.


Rusty Barnes grew up in rural northern Appalachia, and now lives in Revere MA with his family. His work has appeared widely, most recently in Plumb, FRiGG,  Ginosko Review and BEAT to a PULP. Poems are forthcoming in Common Ground Review and Street Value. His latest book of poetry is Jesus in the Ghost Room and his latest novel is called The Last Danger.