Brian Beatty

The Devil You Know


A familiar shadow

follows you room to room

dark from keeping

your secrets.


Like a dog

that won’t stop barking.

A dog that growls even in its sleep.


But only you seem to notice this best friend.

There’s no escaping that kind


of loyalty. You locked every door.


Museum of Night and Day


Life isn’t meant to be lived

in silence, looking only

straight ahead, squinting

to read the fine print


of exhibit descriptions.

Or so said the painter a little too tightly

wound up in his latest canvas.


Then, with no warning and using just his teeth,

he sent brushes flying out a nearby window.


None of us made a sound.



Brian Beatty’s poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The Bark, Conduit, Dark Mountain (England), The Evergreen Review, Forklift Ohio, Gigantic, The Glasgow Review of Books (Scotland), Great Walks(Australia), Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney’s, Midwestern Gothic, The Moth (Ireland), Opium, Paper Darts, Phoebe, Poetry City USA, The Quarterly, RHINO, Seventeen, Southern Poetry Review, Sycamore Review and Word Riot.

Beatty is the author of the collections Coyotes I Couldn’t See (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016) and Brazil, Indiana (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, forthcoming). He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


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