Tag Archives: Dylan Gibson

the beats are all dead now

By Dylan Gibson

About as soon as I stopped drinking, I started smoking again.
This is how it goes, said an old AA head I knew years ago:
“always gotta keep one.”
It’s true, but for god only knows why.
The death drive, bad alchemy of the head, or perhaps
a part of the strange little litany of daily performances that are
birdsong for the American definition of “free.”

We wrote new songs to kill all our cowboys and, in doing so,
made them into monsters big enough to blot out the stars.

In my dream the elevator is plummeting from the sky
while the bald man beside me smiles without a face
and tucks his head into the corner, says “it’ll go quicker this way.”
Like some kind of weekend warrior.
But we’ve both been here countless nights before. 
Even in my dreams I’m thinking about work.

Take down the bukowski posters from your wall and concede
that moloch, mental moloch, has at last devoured us all.
When we smoked on the balcony together I told you we’d 
eaten all those mushrooms five years too early in our lives 
but it’s five years too late now and we know all the pretty colors 
are just travel ads for tropical getaways that’ve been glowing 
in the dark since the 1950s.

Maybe he’d have been a better writer if he hadn’t been so fucked up, anyway.


Dylan Gibson is an American writer living and working in Taipei. His work has previously been published in the Blue River Review.

Red giant

By Dylan Gibson

I know but not by choice a big ruddy man who’s
made himself into a special kind of machine
the mighty productive power of which lies in its ability
to erase itself from recent memory.

His colleagues and detractors alike know him to be
ever-present yet perennially useless like a Godhead, a ravenous
gaping chasm where the elders threw the undesirables,
where the suicides teetered and gawped,

a pockmarked red giant on the verge
of implosion under its own gravity.
Glowing red yet ever dimmer in the twilight of his 30s,
doggedly stumbling on well after last call,

scouring the recesses of 3am
for some last trace of 25.


Dylan Gibson is an American writer living and working in Taipei. His work has previously been published in the Blue River Review.