Auditioning For Heaven


poems by

M. Scott Douglass

Poetry book, 64 pages, $10 cover price

($8 if ordered from the MSR Online Bookstore)

ISBN: 978-1-930907-07-2

Released: 2001



M. Scott Douglass

M. Scott Douglass grew up in Pittsburgh, is a former twenty-year dental technician, and currently the publisher/editor of Main Street Rag.

Work from this collection has appeared in Black Bear Review, Iodine, Parting Gifts, Slipstream, Southern Poetry Review, Sundog: The Southeast Review, and Third Lung Review. The title poem: “Auditioning for Heaven,” first appeared in the anthology, No Hiding Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Charlotte-area Writers (Down Home Press, 2000).

This project was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency, the Arts & Science Council-Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc., and the arts councils of Anson, Cabarras, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Union, and York counties.



Stories never start
where we want them
to, there’s always
the shadow of another
inching out, nibbling
at the edge
of the foreground.

A tale screams for telling,
shadows absorb shadows,
definitions are lost
in the fickle focus of light
drifting a wobbly course
across the sky,
across the cosmos.

In the end, lovers
lose themselves
in lip-locked lies
as night grows
and shadows collapse
upon themselves
like dark matter
held together
by shared spit
and absent
points of light.


August 23, 1996


I could almost see my truck
in a parking lot on Alabama St.
just beyond the barricades
on Martin Luther King Drive.

A slurry of strangers witness
an empty Coca Cola courtyard
and the guarded entrances
to Underground Atlanta.

Cops with billy clubs in black
helmets and flack jackets patrol
the perimeter. Fear is a pipe
bomb in Centennial Park.

On the sidelines,
street sharks cling to rituals
in typical cold war fashion–
black berets and red bandannas–

clash on the border of violence
amid schools of tourists
focused on the possible
and not the probable.

Camcorders on every shoulder
trained on empty streets and entranceways,
document this human spectacle, securing
rights to the ultimate souvenir.

But tomorrow will come ticking
down a new world order of events
in timeless tradition, measuring
each moment, the sheer agony

of defeatist terror slinking
back to anonymity,
no medallion, no moral victory,
a footnote.




It’s no lie–
I could live forever
in the raging silence
of your shadow,
be a whisper
in your sleep
or a dirt road
into desert sand.
But just once
I’d like to wake
in the morning
and find my words
across the sky,
fat and ragged
as the day unfolds
until the wind
blows them away
like the gentle breath
of a wayward angel
kissing the day’s
last candle

Other books by M. Scott Douglass available from Main Street Rag:

Balancing on Two Wheels

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