issue 22: daily life

Morning commute; an impression.

- n.b. (bio)

The 8:22 a.m. train
into the bowels
of aluminum city
hurtles us soft creatures
of cul-de-sacs and birch trees
through a brownfield corridor,
past the blurry pocks
of yellow yards and
rusted afterthoughts.


- a.k. (bio)


Operating through a haze
Going through the motions of the day
My body moves
My mouth speaks
My mind thinks
But it all melts into the haze

Do I have the power to fight through the gray
Be present during the day
Yet all I want to do is lay
But I still go through the motions of the day
Saying only what I must say
Doing only what I must do
Consumed by the haze
As I move through the day

I Know A Man

- c.e. (bio)

who counts his memories
in empty Heineken bottles
and half empty Krylon cans
with their caps missing

who schedules his days
around the joints he rolls
and arguments he avoids
about his neither coming nor going

who counts himself to sleep
with melatonin pills
and the days he wants left on this Earth
spent with those that care

who he counts on one hand
and desperately grips with the other.

Ode to an Itsy-Bitsy Spider

- m.g. (bio)

O spider on a water spout
In the crook of the world
Bend of the mind
Spinning a synaptic quilt
Patterned to snare
Any fluttering notions
That would stray near
First seized
Next distorted
Finally, imbued
The product is to be repurposed
Employed to extend the weathered web


Increase of extension
Extends increase
Increases fragility
Fragility, vulnerability
Vulnerability, inevitability
And inevitability demands loss

And you, itsy-bitsy spider
Are to climb up the spout again

The Son of a Salesman

- shadow

Life is dictated by green, 
Not rolling pastures or wide open fields, 
Not by garden paths or by hanging vegetation, 
No; life is dictated by money and envy. 
If you want to succeed they say, 
Get in line with the millions of other teens, 
Brainwashed into thinking a business degree, 
Will mean they become the next Bill Gates. 
The order is simple, 
Go to college and get a degree, 
Get a job right after and find a spouse, 
Sprout some children and pay your taxes, 
Until the day you die. 
This order is carried down by the system,
Not only the government, 
Not only your family, 
Not only the schools, 
But by others the same age as you. 
Creativity is dead, 
Independence is dead, 
Romance is dead, 
The mighty dollar has killed all. 
Go to a liberal arts college to feel different,
 To feel special, 
All the while forgetting that there are thousands around you, 
Who are thinking the same thing? 
Kill your dreams, 

Dreams make you depressed when you realize what it takes to get there, 
The rope needed to make it, 
Has suddenly snapped and left you hanging over a suicidal pit. 
The artists on TV, 
Were handpicked by the rich or just stupidly lucky, 
No one is that lucky anymore. 
We are a passing fleet of emotions, 
No one is stable, 
No one gets what they want, 
We are all destined to die in a 9-5. 
That’s what we’re told by the blue artists, 
The artists whose dreams didn’t come easily, 
Who let themselves be snuffed out by their own depression,
Whose dreams died way before they did. 
I am the son of a salesman, 
The path I live is unlike any other, 
I refuse to think differently, 
I cling desperately to anything that makes me stand apart, 
Makes me stand out of the crowd, 
Even though I may be the quietest voice in the room,
I refuse to allow my dreams to be snuffed.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - – - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - – - - - - - - - -
I am a dreamer, 
I am an artist,
I will not be drowned out, 
I will not stop fighting, 
I will cling to the rope regardless of where it takes me, 
I will find my open pasture, 

I will find myself,
I will not allow myself to be a 9-5, 
I will not become a tax record and nothing else, 
I will overcome the all controlling green and not allow it to stop me, 
I will never allow my dreams to die before I do, 
I will be known for more than a son of a salesman.


Mini Landscape 13

- anon


Mini Landscape 14

- anon

end of issue 22. go back to issues page.

the poetry juicebox
an international poetry & art publication
the poetry juicebox