All the Cool Kids 

All the cool kids go to hell in the end,

their teeth rotten, their eyes vacant

of sunlight and blue sky,

skin as coarse as emery boards

and picked-at in patches

over their nervous Chakras.


Silence forces them into corridors,

each one leading back to themselves

with a new alias,

each restart a bit less sure,

but still attempted with

whatever the zeal they have left.


They finally get it, in the end,

The inevitability

of aging and decay,

the slow gentle arc of the moon

as it rises and plots

the course of the coming night.

The poetry and prose of Robert L. Penick have appeared in over 100 different literary journals, including The Hudson Review, North American ReviewPlainsongs, and Oxford Magazine. His latest chapbook is Exit, Stage Left, by Slipstream Press, and more of his work can be found at