“The Queen” by John Fitzgerald

I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.


The Queen


She can move in any direction,

but can’t break the boundaries of the grid.

None can.

No leaving the field.


And even though the board is preset at the beginning,

it morphs into countless situations.

I cannot say for certain if it’s finite,

though the plane itself has edges.


But if the big bang is an explosion still expanding,

those most ancient, outermost parts lead

to John describing this, then continue

on ever more molecular levels of space inside and out him.


So no matter how random the point

something begins from seems to be,

there becomes, that moment and thereafter, the pre-beginning,

like a chessboard set for the very first move.


It makes no difference that the start is arranged,

that it’s “set up,”

that there’s a beginning and an end.

That life lasts as long as the game continues.


To measure time we pick a random moment to begin.

Light moves.

There is no point in being light if you don’t.

The dark it moves into reveals itself.


From Favorite Bedtimes Stories (Salmon Poetry, 2014)



John FitzGerald is a poet, writer, editor and attorney for the disabled in Los Angeles. A dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, he attended UCLA and the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. His newest collection of poetry, The Mind, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2011. The poetry collection Favorite Bedtime Stories is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2014. His first book, Spring Water, was a Turning Point Books prize selection in 2005. Telling Time by the Shadows was released in April 2008 by Turning Point Books. As yet unpublished works include Primate, a novel and screenplay, the non-fiction The People of the Net.

He has contributed to the anthologies Poetry: Reading it, Writing it, Publishing it (Salmon Poetry), Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology (Salmon Poetry), and From the Four-Chambered Heart: In Tribute to Anais Nin (Sybaritic Press) as well as to many literary magazines, notably The Warwick Review, Barnwood Mag, Askew Poetry Journal, Spillway, and Lit Bridge.


“Thirty-two” by John Fitzgerald



What beauty imparted was more than skin deep.

Truth hung upon her every word.

Once he described her as misunderstood, she raised the bottom line.


Truth claims this didn’t begin as nine lines, it was the mind.

He always says believe me, as if no one ever does.

Nobody’s convinced he’s dead, and from the grave, he says so be it.


Truth was usually so lost in thought,

he couldn’t recall what he came in for.

Many times, he’d have to close his eyes to remember.


From The Mind (Salmon Poetry, 2011)



John FitzGerald is the author of The Mind (Salmon Poetry, 2011), the novel in verse Spring Water (Turning Point Books prize 2005), and Telling Time by the Shadows (Turning Point Books, 2008). His fourth collection, Favorite Bedtime Stories, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2014. He has contributed to the anthologies From the Four Chambered Heart: In Tribute to Anais Nin (Sybaritic Press, 2013). Poetry: Reading it, Writing it, Publishing it (Salmon Poetry 2009) and Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology (Salmon Poetry 2011) as well as to many literary magazines. He is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland.