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3 poems by Dolan Morgan

1. Nine Levels, No Extra Lives

“The recession is killing young people.” And sore,
reduced to tears, “If you want to be clear of this,”
he replied, “you’re no better than a whore,


Pippa Middleton’s Swedish kiss,
a source of satisfying protein and
the first circle ringing the abyss.”


A man who accidentally nailed his hand
to their sweet nest, on steadily lifted wings,
told him that the attack was planned.


Whether you like to have flings,
making a shield of one flank, then the other,
barefoot in the chilly woods as she sings,


wheeled about the dismal circle On either
the hotel tub where Whitney Houston died,
the hilarity of the former or the thrills of the latter,


it’s a smartphone that slides inside —
“Unless the swamp’s thick vapors hide it from you,”
he screamed: “I really enjoy blogging, and I’d


be flooding back on the ride to Malibu
to see if I were there with someone else,
notorious personalities to launch a coup,


but today, the happy peal of the bells
which so spur us ahead in our short life
showed up for the day with bruises and welts


that she had ordered in hopes of putting down strife,”
and You wonder, perhaps, about that wreckage which
is in protective custody after surviving knife


wounds to the throat. March around the ditch,
from which it tore itself by its own roots,
shrugging off industry concerns that a glitch


can scratch an existential itch.
“Who’s the prostitute now, bitch?”


2. Why You Might Kill You

Normally, you would be the last thing you’d suspect to be implicated in your killing, but as it turns out, studies show that you might be more likely to harm or even kill you than older studies would have had you believe. So, it looks as if you have one more thing to fear besides fear itself, and that’s you. Now, there are two scenarios in which you might kill you: 1. You kills you, and the reverse, 2. You kills you.

1. You kills you

You might think of you as basically you and not much else, but the fact of the matter is that you is just as much not you as it is you. That is, you can do whatever you wants, regardless of what you want. You doesn’t have the same taste as you or the same desires and you acts accordingly. That is, when you find yourself doing something, it’s because you wanted to whether you wanted to or not. You gets what you wants, no matter how much you protest or regret it.

You might get fed up with what you is doing against your will. If you does enough things that don’t represent what you believe about who you are, you might decide to off the impostor who is making a mockery of you. In order to stop you from making you do things you don’t want, you will get rid of you so you are finally free to do what you want.

2. You kills you

Of course, you might think of yourself as the real you, and of the other you as really just some other you, but in reality the other you thinks the same of you. And you is getting fed up with your arrogance. You thinks you should step aside and let you run the show for once. You is tired of playing second fiddle to you. You wants to be in the spotlight. You wants to emerge from behind you and eclipse you.

If you don’t watch out and let you get a little action in edgewise, you is going to get rid of you so that only you is left without you to get in the way anymore. You has had enough of you and believes you can get along without you.

The bottom line is, there’s two of you and one of you is bound to get fed up with you. Whether it’s you or you, it’ll still be you who gets it in the end. So, do yourself a favor and get rid of that you you’ve got laying around. It’s a danger to you.

4. Libbingston, Texas

No one in this town ever goes home. The pike, state routes, and local traffic regulations are so elaborate that traversing them successfully takes talent beyond the measure of the good people of Libbingston.
That they never go home isn’t to say that they aren’t trying, either. It’s just too hard. Officials have even hired mathematicians to create an algorithm to calculate and predict travel routes, but all they’ve managed to establish so far is that the roads are at once fixed and innumerable. They continue to work and hope, but almost without reason.
The people’s lives are dreary and languid. Throughout the day, they just drive randomly along the roads – because any plan amounts to that anyway – looking here and there for their homes.

It wasn’t always this way for everyone, but as the roads increased in complexity, so too did the population of wanderers. You’d leave your house one day with perfect confidence, but on the next find yourself on a tangle of knotted concrete you couldn’t begin to understand.

It’s been years since husbands have seen wives, mothers children, brothers sisters. Throughout the day and night, they stop at gas stations, cafes and bars. News is exchanged quietly over coffee, everyone tired under the routine of failure. Occasionally, husbands and wives meet serendipitously in shops or stores or bars, and they ask each other if they’ve found their home yet. They answer, “No,” and continue on their way.

Some of the younger, more optimistic lovers have abandoned their homes and cars and set up camp along the roads, refusing to move so as to better hold on to each other. Over drinks, widows and retired bachelors mull the fact that eventually everyone has to move sometime.
Dolan lives and writes in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. His work can be found in Field, The Believer, Contrary, Armchair/Shotgun, TRNSFR, The Lifted Brow and many other journals. When people buy his ebook, Google Place Reviews, he throws their money away in the street. www.dolanmorgan.com