Poetry by Robert Joe Stout

County Seat

Summer: mechanics smack
each other’s shoulders,
laugh and talk base hits

children crush johnson grass
into a path that cowboys saunter,
miniature Darth Vaders creep

an alkie down from Oregon
snoozes among stones
where Chinese women
washed their clothes a century ago

a concrete wall
separates wild figs
from hippies smoking pot

clerks sorting numbers
onto welfare checks
dream of shag-rugs, silk,
men with gentler fists


About Robert Joe Stout

After covering journalism assignments for many years as a reporter, editor, and freelancer, Robert Joe Stout currently resides in Oaxaca, Mexico. His essays, poetry, and fiction have appeared in Conscience, The American Scholar, South Dakota Review and many other magazine and journals. His most recent books include the novel Running Out the Hurt and the volume of poetry A Perfect Pitch.