Standup for the Over-Fifty Crowd
Bill Marsh

Start slow
& end early, let
punch lines float
before roping
them in


Despite fearsome
grudges, teased
out for dead
ringers, occasional
cheap shots do
come in handy


A sorry-kneed folk
stuck between soft
despair & a hazy


Sex can work,
the nasty dream-
troubling kind if
heckle-ready w/
wit & stamina


Most happy
when a funny
face pulls the who
gone in a puff
of smoke trick


Terrified if left
in a dark
corner weeping
fat pearls
of applause, & you
the lucky keeper
Bill Marsh is a teacher and writer based in the Midwest. His poems and essays have appeared in After Hours, Bayou Magazine, Briar Cliff Review, Cimarron Review, Copper Nickel, Ruminate Magazine, and Timber, among other journals. His work has received multiple Pushcart nominations and two of his essays were cited as Notables in Best American Essays 2021 and 2022.

View David Joel Kitcher’s selected works.

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