Poems by John Wiley

Devil’s Bargain

Devil’s bargains
are the only ones I know,
so put it to me.
Bad terms suit me –
I’m a bad bargainer.
You don’t know how bad.
You’ve been forcing hands a long time,
but you don’t have to force mine.
No need for the trapdoor
you’ve invited me to stand on.

Thank you for having me
to your office, but…
somehow we’ve ended up in mine.
Now you’re standing on the trap,
and underneath the trap’s
the Devil’s Bargain Basement.
Will I take your devil’s bargain, sir?
Of course –
I’m the Devil’s Bargainer.


Fictional Ghosts

Fictional ghosts
always want something.
Real ghosts don’t want anything you have.
They don’t want anything anyone has.
They don’t even know you’re there –
why would they?

You might as well be the ghost.
Because they don’t have anything for you either.


JOHN WILEY was a ballet dancer and began writing poetry when his knees gave out for good.  He lives in California and works in his wife’s audiology practice.  His work has appeared in Terror House Magazine, Detritus, and Outsider Poetry, among others.

Copyright © 2019 by John Wiley. All rights reserved.