Joshua Zelesnick

if a bank crashes and every

body is around to witness

it, that’s meritocracy, our

gallantly streaming video


of asteroids always approaching

rotating in circles, fire

fire, our ship has a thrust button

forward, but no thrusting back


to the future crowd rallies

at the edifice through the halls

through the shiny acres and scaly

dungeons of it’s time to PLAY GAME


flatten your hand, hold it out front

to end the raise of suspicion,

take the contestant to the store

and fill her up with thunderous cheers


for life, the moon of saturn

puts us in so much danger, us

in the center cannot stop-it

from holding a nametag wearing


fetish, the discourse opens

the creatures lungs, opens

the genes, the fabric, the banner



weary of make believe, humans

bursting in air these bombs remote

controlled night and day by heroes

with a thousand weapons of mass

listen to the fabric in that

something exists, catch the lion

by the hair over the rampart

scene, building walls will defend us

from the armada, these missiles

our fingers on controls:

PLAY, take this system, repertoire

and thrust it thrust it thrust it hard


in the river, what rises in the river

the nothing, in the river rises nothing

there it rises and rises

in the river who rises there—the operator

there rises the drone, the operator

there it rises he rises, target

now burn for you, and your eye—whereto

rises your eye, your eye rises

opposite the river, your eye the nothing

it rises opposite the river it stands

by the operator, it rises and rises

target, now burn for you


there’s a sucker born, is it me

jealous of seeming outsiders

sticking their secret guns in your

gut, of living too much for not much

attention, please there’s a whole lot

of crumbs out there, watch them scurry

and wear a helmet, wear a torch

blackout in the city, touch it

just an odd display of feelings

I show with earnest pride, my heart

translucent with pauses, its bell

stormy with a sliding gate-head


Photo by Garrett Fundakowski


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