Richard D. Houff

Things That I’m Afraid Of

Christian Dior panties in any size,
shape, or form, and the women who wear them

Men who wear gabardine and reversible
belts worry me

Mail order socks with a limited lifetime

Richard Simmons sweating to the “Oldies”
and neon spandex

Red-ruby lipstick deep in the heart of nowhere
and beehive hairdos

My (now retired) psychiatrist whistling
(“Toot, Toot, Tootsie! (Goodbye”) while writing
prescriptions can make my palms drip

People who would like to add their own 2 cents
into this (I’ve got enough problems) list

The things that I forgot to mention or record,
and as always: empty space, dead poems, and
the last stanza


Richard D. Houff edited Heeltap Magazine and Pariah Press Books from 1986 to 2010. He is also a journalist that’s comfortable in writing both poetry and prose. His work has been published in Academic and Arts Review, Big Hammer, Brooklyn Review, Chiron Review, Conduit, Louisiana Review, Midwest Quarterly, Nixes Mate Review, North American Review, Parnassus, Rattle, Rust Belt Review, San Fernando Quarterly, and many other fine magazines. His most recent poetry collections are Night Watch and Other Hometown Favorites, from Black Cat Moon Press (2016) and The Wonderful Farm and Other Gone Poems, from Flutter Press (2017).