Isolated Memories by Barry Yeoman

Crazy ruminations in the night.
Neurotic perfectionist insomnia.
Something I said to a girl
in the eighth grade that came out wrong.

The guilt of a Halloween egging
of a favorite teacher’s house.
Calling Karen “Carol” at the mall
a year after graduation.

Trivial things stuck in my memory
as if I lack a filter
for memories full of pulp.
That tournament in Ashland, Kentucky

when I was seventeen,
caught looking at a third strike
to end the championship game.
I swear the ball was outside

but Christ, I’m fifty-one!
How I punched my best friend Jon
as a kid playing kickball in the alley
giving him a bloody nose.

How I ran home and felt terrible
and couldn’t remember why I did it.
Later he forgave me and we were friends,
though things were never the same.

My mind like a pesky collection agency
always calling for unpaid debts.
Depression and anxiety, anxiety and
depression, from a mind that won’t turn off.

A stupid mistake on a job seventeen years ago,
even dreams from early childhood
that pop up over and over again.
Like the one where I am balancing

on a wobbly stack of furniture
somewhere in the dark void,
my family walking up a lighted ramp
oblivious to my situation.

There’s the sound of a carnival
at the top of the ramp,
but one false move toward them
and I would go falling

into the imagined abyss.
If I could only embrace
these countless imperfections
perhaps there’d be a place to sleep.

Barry Yeoman
Barry Yeoman photoBarry Yeoman was educated at Bowling Green State University, the University of Cincinnati, and The McGregor School of Antioch University, in creative writing, world classics, and the humanities. He is originally from Springfield, Ohio and currently lives in London, Ohio. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Red Booth Review, Futures Trading, Danse Macabre, Harbinger Asylum, Red Fez, Vine Leaves, Crack the Spine, Burningword Literary Journal, Two Hawks Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review, The Rusty Nail, and others. You can read more of his published work at