Two Poems by M.J. Arcangelini


Hooking Up #1


My first dating app hook-up was

24 years younger than me, blond,

Trimmed beard, drove a big red

Pick-up right into my back yard.

I didn’t know what to do.

Asked him if we should sit and

Get to know each other or

Just go straight to the bedroom.

He tossed it back to me.

I guided him to the bedroom,

Eager to see him naked, to touch him,

I still couldn’t believe he was there.

He undressed completely, casually.

After I swallowed his load he

Studied my bedroom bookshelves,

Told me he grew up in his mother’s bookstore.

Showed me his tattoos of Genet and Cocteau.

Implied that I had too much Bukowski.

Got dressed and said goodbye.


Waxing the Car with My Father 


Dad would wash the car at home, then

Take me down to the park with him

To find a shady place under some

Trees to give it a good coat of wax.

When I was real young it was just me

And my Dad and he would give me a

Soft rag and assign me a spot I could

Reach and I’d help him wax the car

In that little kid way dads find amusing.

That was how a young boy could

Spend a day with his Dad in the park.

Why I can still remember this is a

Puzzle I don’t care to figure out. It’s

Just good, between memories of the

Anger and the belt, to remember

Waxing the car in the shade with Dad

When I was young and so was he.



M.J. Arcangelini (b.1952) has resided in northern California since 1979. His work has been published in print magazines, online journals, (including The James White Review, Rusty Truck, The Ekphrastic Review, The Gasconade Review, As It Ought To Be) & over a dozen anthologies.  The most recent of his five collections are: “What the Night Keeps,” (2019) Stubborn Mule Press and “A Quiet Ghost,” (2020) Luchador Press.