Dispatches | Brendan Joyce
bought the wrong kinda batteries,
drank a monster energy drink in Missouri
I was at Stonewall
the day you died
I’m sorry I invented the weather
We split in the shifting light of sodium street lamps.
Your kindness was a debt accruing.
The corpse in the casket isn’t asked
to work their own funeral but restaurant
workers sure are. I worked our funeral in a chef's coat
with a spaghetti sauce splotch on my
breast pocket. A guest joked about a murder, a butcher.
Haven’t worked in eighteen months
the ruling class still slurps surplus
value straight out of my sternum as I sleep
What were we supposed to do with the cicada
in the kitchen sink, dead, staring at the ceiling
begging for you to come? I didn’t bury it in the
backyard, that seemed too private for someone
with such a public life, deserved burial in song
& rhythm, for others to hear. But that carcass is silent.
I don’t want to work. I also do not want to
want to work. I also can not work. I also
work all day. I also do not work.
mine is not an approachable reality
it does not ask you to enter
you simply do
I’m sorry, I’m a poet, I love a list.
I’m sorry I’m a poet, I love a list.
I’m sorry, I’m a poet, I love; a list.
Brendan Joyce is a student at Cleveland State, co-organizer of Grieveland Poetry Press and the author of Love & Solidarity and Character Limit. His poems have appeared in Protean Magazine, the Johannesburg Review of Books, the Brooklyn Rail, Prolit, Pandemic Publications and Flypaper Lit.