Alex Stolis

Perspectives on a Crime Scene


Woman jogging


You’re asking the wrong person. I don’t care. I didn’t then

even less now. It’s a matter of perspective. Mine happens

to be 180 degrees from there. I’m in another city, another

planet. You see traffic and street, crime and punishment;

I see plateaus and mesas, a vast desert, a sun so low birds

flock to the horizon. It’s not their world; a dull edged knife,

coarse words and lust and greed and gluttony. I saw all of it

and they’re innocent. We’re the guilty ones.


Man who stopped to light a cigarette


I want to be laid in a field of green. Full suit of clothes, rose

in my lapel, white. Rose argent white. There will be clouds

only a hint of rain, my wife will cry stoically. The same kind

of day as today; languid, uncertain of its own destiny. It was

not violent. No guns, no knives. No fists. The girl didn’t run

she was pushed. I’m stalled in flight, left alone and unalive,

I could be the last Plantagenet and she would never want me.

She’s urban Cinderella before the ball, waiting for her Prince

of Nothing.


Bus Driver


It was Charlie Parker. Yardbird Suite. They’ve no idea who

he is. Everything should still be green but it’s turned early

fall the birds gone for good. I’m not sorry, everything’s got

its end. What isn’t rubbed smooth by time, by weather, by

regret and second-guesses. He knew better. She’s bad news

from nowhere. No innocent flower, no naive little girl. Stone

killer that one. Together they looked like some noir tableau,

a Hopper painting. When he got the drop on her she looked

straight-edged, full of sin; ready to burn him to the ground.

from Perspectives on a Crime Scene (2018)

Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis; he has had poems published in numerous journals, and has quite a few recent chapbooks, including Justice for all (Conversation Paperpress, UK), based on the last words of Texas Death Row inmates. His full length collection, Postcards from the Knife Thrower was runner up for the Moon City Poetry Prize in 2017. His chapbook, Perspectives on a Crime Scene was recently released by Grey Border Books, and a full length collection Pop. 1280 is forthcoming from them.
Read more from him:
Victim’s Friend, on Grey Borders
Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife, in Toasted Cheese Literary Journal

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