top of page

Austin Beaton studied Spanish and Creative Writing and regret at the University of Oregon, where he was a finalist for the Walter and Nancy Kidd Memorial Writing Competition in Poetry. His work has appeared in The Stay Project, (b)OINK, Porridge Magazine, Voicemail Poems and is forthcoming in Oxidant Engine and the Angel City Review. He lives near the ocean in San Luis Obispo, California where he drinks flat H20 from a sparkling water bottle, bakes figs and gives nicknames. 

2 poems by Austin Beaton

Elegy for a Perfectionist


Grey place past believing

achievement can save us

isn’t too treacherous. Out here

socks vanish in laundry,

plaque lies in espionage on teeth

chatter-laughing with a guy

you want to smooch but won’t

all still happening. You’d think from

grandma’s grandma onward

we’d have found some remedy:

hieroglyphics on parchment scroll

outing who shot Kennedy,

vial liquid of chronic ecstasy,

blue neon zero 1 zero 1 binary

floating behind the plaster

like a famous movie

popularizing simulation theory?

No chance. The year we sign

to Hallmark birthday cardstock

too high to expect a passport to Nirvana.

Now everything can be called coping,

a collapsing into 3:47, black morning,

thoughts flapping like birds

or bats, a whisper:

label everything. Hello, little

decade. If we name you failure

we have no future here.

And success? No future, either.



To Build Ole’ Hometown


Slide 7 corporate, rote

drive-thrus into a bejeweled jean pocket.

Tape a DO NOT USE note

to the prone-to-spark hardware socket

he don’t use Google to fix.

At the knock-off Motel 6 joke with the live-in

about taxes. Don’t ask if the camo helmet or crucifix

can warp the socioeconomic trend

hot-glueing wedding boutiques

to asphalt Main Street & bear spraying away

pickled-in-house kimchi, meditation, a university.

Listen the barber mutter: ain’t it just like yesterday

to barge in like this? Turn God’s knob to 95 degrees.

Witness you reconcile past & new in dream.

bottom of page