Short Poems & Epigrams for an Autumn Day

Cover of the author’s 1997 chapbook. NOTE: My Lesson in Graphic Design: Some readers were confused as to why the chapbook was entitled ‘PIGRAMMAR.’

By douglas john imbrogno | oct13.2022 |

The epigram is not well-represented in the World of Poetry of 2022. Yet I find myself drawn to the concision and tweet-like thrust of epigrams and short poems. That is especially so when fleeing the endless avalanche of bad-news-of-the-world. Or when needing a break from my current consuming focus on a book-length “sorta memoir,” tentatively titled “Confessions of a Failed Boulevardier.” (For news of its release free subscribe to this site’s substack newsletter). Going short and epigrammatic can be a palate cleanser, I tell you.

Higher Education

My teachers have begun
to die —
No matter.
They live on
in rented rooms
Behind my inner eye.

War No. 2

Start up a war
with sticks and stones.
Come to find
you need
other people’s


I am an artist
and some days

it is not enough.

Time Card

you have this
to say it.


In 1997, I produced the limited-edition chapbook “EPIGRAMMAR: Short Poems and Epigrams for a Post-Dow Industrial, Anti-Delusional Age” (from which the four pieces above come). In researching my book project, I have been pouring through stacks of old journals, jotting down short poems and epigrams dropped in pages along the way.

So, I am compiling a new volume for release in 2023: “EPIGRAMMAR 2: Short Poems and Epigrams for an Un-Disoriented Day.” I’ll read from both chapbooks live, during a Leaf Walk on The Carriage Trail in Charleston, WV, starting 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct 16, part of the citywide FestivFALL event. I perform & declaim for 10 minutes starting 1:30 p.m., along with other poets, musicians, and entertainment scattered up and down the half-mile trail.


You may say
what you please. But,
please, no platitudes.

It is in poor taste
to don borrowed

Good To See You

Forget those
Time and Death,

Consort instead,
with your host,

~ from the forthcoming “EPIGRAMMAR 2: Short Poems and Epigrams for an Un-Disoriented Day”

I released the first “EPIGRAMMAR” via ‘A-OK Poetry Press,’ a somewhat imaginary press, which will also release ‘EPIGRAMMAR 2.’ This will ensure all its contents are ‘100-percent pure, organic poetry,’ as certified by the American Organic Poetry Association, an Affiliate of the International Order of Muses, Musicians, Soundmakers, Wordsmiths, Shamans & Bellhops Guild.

Thought Experiment No. 1

Can you imagine
how awfully loud
would be

the crash of a
glass and a
ceramic cloud?


When all is
dead and done,
and Chaos is God again,

what a blessed relief!
From: Who, What, Why,
Where, When?

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PS: Lost Instructions

How to Get Lost

I wonder as I amble, wandering deep
into the woods. And see that I am lost.
What am I saying? That I am lost?
Or that the recognition I am lost is a
sort of liberation from disorientation?

Conferring a state of mind upon the
state of confusion, a state which
normally lacks a compass. I am found,
then. Found where I was lost. At the
exact spot I determined I was lost.

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