Five Poems

Jon-Michael Frank

I can’t   get over   what’s not   at arm’s   reach   gargoyle   crumbling on  
the parapet   sad men   are objects   whatever’s on   our mind   is in   our
way   morning as   a threat   zen   is bullshit   the world   in a laptop   glow
desire   has a   spiral   about it   wolves   in an   estuary   I don’t   want to
think about   anything   light   flipping out   in the   laundromat   the pleasure   
of   pleasure   meat   in the   freezer   if I   love   something   it won’t   die


essence   is everything   pentagrams daubed   on the   subway  
I’m new   in a   new place   your face   is a   still life   some of
the fruit   will rot   sorrow   is the   wrong   kind of   magic   I
ogle   the mountain   emote my   way into   a habitat   people
imagine   the worst   birds pummel   the ground   love   in an   
urn   I believe   in something   to keep it   from happening 


my body   is the same   as   my past   cops hitting   people   
a house of   90s goths   weeping    which planet   is this   
feeling   ameliorating   pleasure   with pain   the sequins   
of   modern   circumstance   I want a   death   I can   live   
through   you   wave   to someone   on a   computer screen   
wisteria blurs   its way   out of   summer   the lake   too   
is going   away   I feel   closest to   something   when it’s  
gone   I don’t   mind   I like   not having   the space


there’s nowhere   to go   with actual   feelings    a ziploc    bag
of shrunken   plums   culture is a   little   smaller now   birds of
paradise   in a   dark place   the threat of   value   hovers like   an
anchor   what’s the   safe word   for   I’m not dead    scary place   
after   scary place   it’s so   desirable   how shiny   blood is    an   
altar   of soggy   roses   a bullet hole   tucked away   in the curtain   
everything’s more   beautiful   on fire   the luminous   womb of
the internet   can’t salvage   us


I wanted to    make    my yearning    significant   so I   fell
in   love    with conceptualism   the vampire   girl   sipping
lemonade   in a   tutu   a coliseum   crumbling   in a   white
desert   all emotional    catalysts    aren’t baroque   enough
why must   we   go back   to our   lives   wild forsythia   
supine    on the   barbwire   this spring    is a   sadder   more   
impossible   last spring   an absolutely   decaying   teenage
glitter   I’m afraid   self   is a   meddling   of experience   
vodka bottles   blooming   in the   cemetery    I want   the
modern   to feel   religious   again