Monday 5 November 2018

3 Poems by Justin Karcher

Glengarry Glen Ross

Inside nondescript buildings

Salesmen are fighting like tigers

To survive the killing fields

When somebody dies

Their body gets tossed into a portfolio where after a while

Coffee plants begin growing out of their eye holes

There are nights when bloodthirsty capitalists

Dive into big piles of loose change & coffee grounds

Where they drink too much earthworm espresso

& wriggle around looking for the slightest touch

Maybe the rain will fall and cleanse the palate

But when the sun returns like the wrong kind of lover

Salesmen across America pretend that everything is okay

That the system works, that you can squeeze water from a stone

That the buzzing sensation inside their heads is a migraine from God

And the only cure is to always be closing

Sons & Lovers

Moms across America

Are having the same nightmare:

Trump-eyed morticians

Riding broken bicycles

Through their childhood homes

And crashing into the walls

Awkward family portraits

Falling through the floor

Moms across America

Are waking up screaming

Running outside into the street

And building astronomical observatories

Out of their dead sons’ baby teeth

Teeth they’ve been hoarding for years

In drawers next to husbandless lingerie

And road maps from years ago

Moms across America

Are filling up the starless sky

With the broken-armed ghosts

Who’ve left them behind

When the sun starts shining

Moms across America

Are drinking bad coffee

And thinking of the days

When planes didn’t crash

Into American bandstands

The Death of Harvey Weinstein

At long last, the Man in the Moon is dead

Now the moonlight promotes female empowerment

There are flat-chested women singing in the streets

Elsewhere, misfit detectives are wandering in the Rust Belt wilderness

Trying to solve the mystery of America’s missing men

They’re digging for clues in the computerized dirt

Our great-great-grandfathers are rolling in their graves

Their bones turn into baby sea turtles rising from the earth

They start crawling towards the ocean to sink their chauvinisms

Heterosexual boyfriends of America, cut off your arms

And bury your smartphones   stop holding the universe together

With animal glue and carbon emissions          the time has come

For you to lay down your swords       the time has come

For you to kiss the feet of fag hags and beg for forgiveness

There’s still music in the air    you can still change


Justin Karcher is a poet and playwright born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He is the author of Tailgating at the Gates of Hell (Ghost City Press, 2015), the chapbook When Severed Ears Sing You Songs (CWP Collective Press, 2017), and the micro-chapbook Just Because You've Been Hospitalized for Depression Doesn't Mean You're Kanye West (Ghost City Press, 2017). He is the editor of Ghost City Review and co-editor of the anthology My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVOX [books], 2017). He tweets @Justin_Karcher

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