Steven Kent


All the Noise

We can stay up as late as we’re able,
We can make all the noise that we choose,
Watch whatever we want to on cable,
Eat and drink lots of junk food and booze.

No example to set! We can slack now,
Live the way we’ve been dreaming, my dear.
Every freedom we had once is back now,
And I sure wish the kids were still here.

Dear Reader

He mispronounced the prophet’s name again—
“Ha-bak-kuk,” not that hard, for heaven’s sake.
I find it very tough to stay awake,
And my mind wanders every now and then.

Remember John McTavish? He could read;
His Scottish brogue was something to behold.
He kind of lost his mind as he grew old,
But still, a voice like that is what we need,
Not dreary like this dope who’s dragging on:
He never puts the pauses where they go,
And why the vicar picks him I don’t know.
With any luck, by next week he’ll be gone.

The organist today looks fairly juiced.
They say she’s having trouble with her spouse;
She needs to leave her problems at the house,
Or else her pay should greatly be reduced.

I see they’ve yet to cover up the stain
Behind the pulpit, near the altar rail.
Those roofers really ought to be in jail
For shoddy workmanship, that much is plain.

The board can barely run this place right now.
At first I thought a changing of the guard
Could turn some things around, but it’s so hard
When everybody thinks alike, and how!
I briefly hoped I might be tapped, but no—
A guy like me, with fresh ideas? No way
This clique would ever let me have a say;
They’ll run things in the ground before they go.

At last, the Gospel’s finally being read.
That deacon with the high and whiny tone
Says love is patient. God, he’s such a drone;
They really should have chosen me instead.

A Tale of Two Artists

“‘I Couldn’t Face the Resentment and Rage’: Can Artistic Couples Have Successful Relationships?”
The Guardian

Your genius, pet, I do revere;
I know you feel the same for mine.
But someday push may come to shove
And we can’t both get all the love—
If one of us alone may shine,
It really must be me, my dear.

Steven Kent is the poetic alter ego of writer, musician, and Oxford comma enthusiast Kent Burnside ( His work appears in The Asses of Parnassus, Light, Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, New Verse News, OEDILF, and Philosophy Now. His first poetry collection, I Tried (And Other Poems, Too) will be published later in 2023 by Kelsay Books.