Jeffrey Bowen – photo by Kim Yanoshik

bridge avenue perfumery 

he sniffs the air like his canine brothers,

detects artist’s paint and sweet roses

on the summer breeze,

cigarettes and herb

from the neighbor’s open window,

sulfur from the most recent barrage

of fourth of july firecrackers,

red wine and black coffee

walking hand in hand

toward the gathering sounds

of ohio city restaurants.

he’s missing the party,

stayed home alone

to do the laundry,


keep close company with old records,

and words wrapped tightly

like hand rolled

cuban cigars.

he savors the solitude

but longs for

feminine contact,

the top note of anticipation

wafting like jasmine

across the citrus

of intelligent conversation.

he savors the caress

of this cool summer day’s slowly


recalls the warm sands of proximity,

the euphoria of bright eyes across the table,

and fingers barely touching

* * * * *

Jeffrey Bowen’s poetry has been published by ArtCrimes, Cicada, Cool Cleveland, Crisis Chronicles, CSU Poetry Center, Dimensions, Doan Brook Watershed, Excursions, Green Panda Press, Hessler Street Fair, Procrastination Press, Poet’s League of Greater Cleveland, The City, The Cleveland Reader, and Whiskey Island Magazine.  He is one of six poets profiled in the 1995 documentary, “Off the Page”.  Four of his poems are featured on Cleveland Tumbadors, an album of Traditional Afro Cuban Music and Latin Jazz on Fame City Records.  Jeffrey is the resident poet & conga player with the band, Cats On Holiday, and his poetry appears on their CD, Holiday in a Box from COHTONE Records.  In addition to his poetic work, Jeffrey’s writing has appeared in Call & Post, City News, Cool Cleveland, EcoWatch, Elephant Journal, Girl Scout News, GreenCityBlueLake, Live Cleveland, Neighborhood News, Nonprofit Notes, Sun News and various Habitat for Humanity publications.