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7 Poems || Jon-Michael Frank

Whisper You Love Me Boy


I want everything   I want   before I die   winter’s a

tooth   eating away at us   so how core   do you feel

now   now that there’s   little shit   everywhere   like

music   petting us   behind the ears   under the chin

can you believe   these neon winds   this religion of

incurable sadness   this lottery ticket   of meaning   I

really   just hope   we break   it’s the fissures   of this

world   that allow for   coalescence   and it’s not that

I doubt the dark   it’s just that   I don’t like   feeling

my way   through everything

Blue Moon


I’ve got weird   itchy feelings   moats   and amethyst   the

fucking sound   of ice cream   pouring all over   this

rising   hundred degree   neighborhood   you think you

know shit   but then you   know shit   the pipes in this

house   speak   like bruises   the blonde girl is all

i have   this time   with suicide   fuck the birds   the grapefruits

rotting out   all the beauty   in this city   just one more   pill

and I might just   knock out   the sorrow   before it   doubles

for everything   my last words   are the same   as my first   so

what   god’s a cage   the sky’s   a monkey painting   self-immolation

is how we   put enough   holes   in this world   to see where   we

are going   but STOP   and listen   that’s the   rain   filling in

I’m Losing You (I Know)


eating French   fries   after someone   died   nature

is a   feeling   I’m ruining   for myself   sympathy for

the neighborhood   gunfire rules   the night

we make   blood   and nobody

knows   how   they’re always   sad   shopping carts

brimming   with a   dangerous glitter   we are   meaningless

without   sex   tired   of   spending our   time   drinking

water   two guys   beating   the shit   out of   each other

outside   the sorrowful   smell   of mustard   fisting   bricks

of   electricity   in the   air   everything   I know   is bullshit

Keep An Eye


I’m not   good   I’m winter   now   let me explain to

you   how drugs work   either   you want to know   or

you don’t want to know   how you’re fucking up   your life

that guy’s   an icicle   and that guy’s   an icicle   and that

job money position   and power   all icicles   shit dripping

away   the fucking surprise ending is   everything is   exactly

how you thought it would be   even the   snowflakes   even

the creep   and then   sometimes   you are driving   a car

and really looking for   a goddamn   EXIT

Hey Jude

after Amiri Baraka


we are doomed   time traveling   in the labyrinth

of grief   and we ended up   here   at this corner

store   slurping red or blue   ice   into our   stupid

broken   heads   I think   the art of this world   is in

not dying   unless   you are   really good   at   something

and I’m really good at   saying it   how it is   like this

tree   is so fucking gold   you can actually feel   how

fucking gold   it is

Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over)


day or night   what’s more desolate   one car

or   no cars   in this wide   smoking   parking lot

a couple of   fucking   dudes   dying hard   around

here is   a WASTELAND   it’s really    a massive

3 a.m.   it’s really    a haircut   with an expensive

vacuum cleaner   it’s really   a small horse-fence   in

the heart   how many motherfuckers have I known

that have just said   fuck it   and kept on   everyone’s

skull   has the potential   to mean something   in a

living   sweating palm   but don’t look death in the

eyes   it has none

Back In My Arms Again


sad   shit   is happening   funny   is how   we duck

disaster   even with   the black rivers   of bad heroin

swaddling Philly   this December   it’s only when   I think

that I’m myself   I reach for   a glass of water   yes   or

no   do you care that   Philip Seymour Hoffman   died

today   what you say   about things   is how you will live

your life   on my way   to the corner store   I wrote my

name   2014   in the wet asphalt   this is me   forever



Jon-Michael Frank has work published or forthcoming in Anti-, Banango Lit, Inter/rupture, Sink Review and Sixth Finch, among others. A chapbook of poems is forthcoming from Birds LLC, and another chapbook, of comics, is being released by El Aleph Press in 2014. Jon-Michael is also an assistant editor for the small press BIRDS, LLC, helps run a reading series in Austin, TX called Fun Party, and sells illustrations about life, or the lack of it, on etsy.