Ryan McGinnis


I’m so bored
thinking of all the people
I had to meet
before I met you!


Salinger returned with a palsy
and a wont for sitting alone
with Green Apple’s free books.

Spied nightly tucked into a donut
shop corner, Salinger reads — mouth
agape against his will, hunched
over the night’s printed finds,

hair whiter than his portrait,
pallid, unappealing, yet tall,
unmistakable: the anonymous
harbinger of times extinct.

In my borrowed streets, I walk
alongside him silently, he
an apparition not noticing me
a perma-teen, astonished, starstruck.

We exist in moments of time passing
in tired, page-turning nights
of doubt, reconsidering
and incessant retracing.


On Father’s Day, I left work early
to ride a bullet train to the south.

I rode past towns I’d never been
and still haven’t. I read stories
by Dylan Thomas and I napped.

In San Jose, I got out and walked around
as does a tourist in a foreign country.
Then I beat a prompt retreat, as does an
accidental stranger at a family reunion.

San Francisco is large and lonely —
a cold hulking mess of isolation.

The only meaning in life is to live
shortly, then to move far away.


Left today among
the dead writers
words my own.

As if
I mattered
I alphabetized

put me
between a
McAllister and

a McGraff —
two poets
long gone —

then stole a
Romanian immigrant’s poems
on Baton Rogue

and other places
I’ve never been.

Left alone
I’m terrible
and covetous.


Friends I’ve invented work at diners
and coffee shops ’til the sun sets.
At night, who knows what they do? They don’t
exist excepting our interactions, yet I
often wonder, worry about them — how
might their lives have led to mine, their
mistakes, lost opportunities and loves.
How come drab rooms become dank wombs
for the dark and lowly people, my friends?

The Adept Writer #2


Friends, I’m proud to present The Adept Writer #2. Our lineup this week features nine authors you need to start paying attention to: 

Natalie Hernandez’ “Red Light District” sizzles with sex. 

Claire LeDoyen’s math poetry is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Really. 

Joel Nickel’s latest work may have you questioning social media and/or your sanity. 

Andrew Hill’s carefully chosen words are guaranteed to singe. 

A.A. Knight presents a gripping psychological portrayal of the dynamics of relationships. 

JihbazFubyok hammers hard, presenting the reality of life without compromise. 

Deyalyn Batista is a first-timer publishing with The Adept Writer. Her work is stunningly artful, yet visceral. 

Ryan McGinnis’ poem will haunt, deconstructing the essence of love. 

Samantha McLain’s work stands up with the best of The Twilight Zone. 


Alfonso Colasuonno, Founder, The Adept Writer



New work from:

Joel Nickel


A.A. Knight

Ryan McGinnis

and introducing Deyalyn Batista

Get in on the fun. Send your work to theadeptwriter@gmail.com to be included in The Adept Writer #2.



My history of failed romances is best represented
by the list of saved passwords my web browser
keeps for Netflix.


I feigned sleep to fend you off.
When you left, I rose and found
spaghetti on my shelf. My brother
who, while visiting, was starved
in more than one way, ate all of
mine. So who knows whose noodles
these were.

I put their water on boil nonetheless
and read the Koch you left, and the
poem you left inside it, which I tossed
aside. I turned first to a poem about
being twenty-three in Sweden and speaking
to a group of pretty Minnesotan girls and
doing nothing about your energy. I read this
in the kitchen while it rained lightly
by the window.

Thinking better of the plate, I ate
from the pot, and discovered that
my lunch was undercooked.
But I proceeded, knowing somehow
I probably deserved this.

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