Outlaw Reflections: Poems for Cupid’s Day

Outlaw Reflections: Poems for Cupid’s Day

Regular contributor Oleh Lysiak is not widely known as a softie. But is his bark worse than his bite?  Or is his bite sometimes a love bite? True these poems, like their author, are unconventional tropes to Valentine’s Day, but who needs more Hallmark treacle? His words are sweet like agave, you know, sugar with spikes. 

funny cupid


I think of her and linger

in the alchemy of kisses

changing blood to lava

and thank whoever

dishes out the luck

I could still feel this

fucking crazy. She

was a kid, knew lyrics

to all my favorite

tunes, a lifetime

of mistakes to make

and I was gladly

the next one.



I’m searching for a prefect phrase

describing how a hopeful mute

willing to sing an aria of passion

feels about his brain aflame

with love’s delectable

hot sauce piquant.



When no obvious miracles

occur I make do with the

sound of rain, surf, wind,

the smell of fog salt mixed

with fresh ground coffee,

live coals in ashes bloomed

into another cozy day,

orange cat asleep on

garbage can lid eye open for

a call to breakfast, wife under

covers mumbling shallow dawn

light dream words: nuances in

grays and greens with possibilities

of blue holes in the sky a little later on.


Editor’s note about Oleh:

I am reminded of the man every day. A talented sculptor, one of his mobiles sits on the coffee table in our living room. But I had not seen or heard from Oleh Lysiak for over 20 years. Ah, the wonders of social media. We rediscovered each other a few months ago, which was when I also discovered the artist is also a writer – at least nowadays – though making marks on paper is only one among a very long list of talents, some slightly sketchy.

O. Z. Lysiak winking

 O.Z. Lysiak has from time to time worked as a reporter, editor, columnist, photographer, public affairs officer, restaurateur, festival booth owner-operator, ski technician, carpenter, sailor, smuggler, tree planter, fishing guide, truck driver, river guide, cook, wood-cutter, trash collector, marine gravity operator, reclaimed wood broker and sculptor. He has written for The Ukrainian Weekly, The Oregonian, and closer to home, The Aspen Daily News, The Aspen Times, The Crested Butte Pilot, The San Miguel Basin Forum – and The Telluride Daily Planet. Oleh’s poetry has been widely published and his is author of several books, including “Neighborhood of Strangers” and “Art, Crime & Lithium,” also available locally at Between the Covers Bookstore.

Outdoor mobile, Oleh Lysiak

Outdoor mobile, Oleh Lysiak

Given his street cred and the fact he wrote extensively locally in the bad old days, I asked Oleh if he would mine his files for past columns that might be of interest to our readers. I am thankful the man said “yes.”

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