Papa’s room

After Balzac


The eyes were curtain

-less. The soul was damp.

The pe e lin gwa llpa pe r re

-vealed a grimy maw. A lamp


gave glimpses of 

his wretched feet and h e Ar t.

A very d




y chest of drawers

stood op en, O’er there!, ap(e-)art


from a part of my very dus



STARE. An armchair stuffed

with bliss broke down

dOwn. The fire pooped and puffed..


Opposite the rosewood the

-nar eminence (…of the old-fashioned KInD)

my papa died, ringing

l i k e

r s

i n g





Beneath a sky full of pelvises

A pelvis full of sky

Between the sky and pelvis is

A scaffold / skull and fly

 Jake Sheff is a major and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married with a daughter and six pets. Currently home is the Mojave Desert. Poems of Jake’s are in or forthcoming from Radius, The Ekphrastic Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. He won 1st place in the 2017 SFPA speculative poetry contest and was a finalist in the Rondeau Roundup’s 2017 triolet contest. His chapbook is “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing).