The Natural World
Outside the airport he saw a white girl with dreads in a T-shirt with the Rising Phoenix logo — a bird with wings on fire. She’d even written his name with a Sharpie on a piece of paper, along with the word Media, which is what he’d claimed to be.April 2023
After the radiation ruined her lungs, / and they’d drained fluid once a month, / then every other week, then every day, / my grandma said she wanted to go / home.April 2023
Speaking Of Tongues
Justin E.H. Smith On The Mysteries Of Language
This is an extremely creative and spontaneous moment for language. There are whole sociolects that you and I don’t even know about, because we’re too old or we don’t belong to the communities of people who have come up with them. Emoji are fascinating because they’re a return to the ideographic sources of a lot of writing.April 2023
Ode To The Man Who Gave Me A Dinosaur Notepad On Our Hinge Date
Because he didn’t think girls don’t like dinosaurs. Because he didn’t assume / he was entitled to have sex with me because he bought me a taco. / Because our date was an hour. Because what he gave me was light / and easy to carry.March 2023
When he held it out, I ran / my fingers over the shredded / cartilage of the nasal cavity / and the sutures that fused together / the cranium, the tip of my finger / gone for a second when I poked it / inside a shadowy orbitMarch 2023
Not everybody feels religion in the same way. Some it’s in their mouth, but some it’s like a hope in their blood, their bones.
What’s on my mind lately: How to survive the winter alone with a roaming catamount who needs a snack. I asked advice from the guy who plows our driveway. “What should I do if I see it?” He stuck his head out of the truck window: “Don’t act like food.”March 2023
My son and I are sitting on his back porch, / early October, the gold locust leaves above his barn / giving the morning light something to shine in. / An unfelt breeze makes itself known / when the leaflets shake and shimmer.
— from “The Last Day, Again”February 2023
7:17 — Wife yells, Oh, God, look! Dusk now, harder to see. What? I say. Bear! she says. To right, where riverbank gives way to pasture, large beast lurks in shadow of tree. Dark, terrible beast, now moving slightly toward us. Large, dark beast says, Moooo.February 2023
A Sandwich Is A Concept
Our biggest fear was dogs. Ronnie and I looked up dog facts like maniacs. Can dogs smell through plastic? Does the USPS use drug dogs? How do you trick drug dogs? How effective are drug dogs? Are drug dogs a scam that the government uses to justify illegal searches?January 2023