From Issue 17: Collateral

Brian Phillip Whalen
This poem was originally published in The Cardiff Review.
When I eat pepperoni pizza late at night, I have nightmares. I’m 35 years old, the same age my father was when he slept nights inside a bottle of Boone’s Farm wine. [My father was 13 when his mother warned him:“Boys like you end up in jail or Vietnam.”] When I was 13, I read the morning comic strips: Garfield ate a pepperoni pizza late at night and had a ghastly nightmare. He woke Jon and Jon took on his monsters. [I was 7 when my father roused me, at midnight, knelt beside me, hung his head: “Tonight,” he said, “in Baghdad, a father tucked his son in bed, now both are dead.”]
Brian Phillip Whalen’s writing appears in The Southern Review, Spillway, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Cherry Tree, Fiction International,, and elsewhere. Brian received his PhD from SUNY Albany and is a lecturer in the English Department. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and daughter and teaches creative writing workshops in regional libraries.