I never seem to win on these damn scratchers.

I like to think smoking is

suicide by lottery.

A social way to burn time

from both ends concurrently.

A covert way to slit wrists

sans crying for attention.

Twenty chances in each pack.

Come on and get to smoking.


Are there any gates left in an actual dystopia, or are they all rusted, fallen, or easily stepped over?

Reading American poets from the mid 20th century
attempt to speak about dystopian themes
as if they know anything .

I’m fully aware,
I’m gatekeeping.)

Red Scare, ohhh sure.

(There’s a non-0 chance
our government’s
elections were
Russian influenced.)

Constant monitoring,

(Shit, we do it
for you.
For free.
Watch me.



being abused
by the bourgeoisie.

(Let me show you
some real wage disparity.
The exponentially rising cost
on the same property.
Income stagnation.
Rapid inflation.
The increased price

(and need)

of a college degree.)

Human ignorance

dead diseases
coming back.

Climate change,
but thank Christ
big oil gave us
invasion reasons
on foreign soil.)

Yet, they are probably complaining,
the kids today, don’t know how good they have it.

(I’m working more productively

and did more to get here

for less.)

Please, tell me how entitled I’m being.

Recollections of a Snapchat conversation with a fellow poet (that auto-deleted)

You know if this were the 19th century

it’s entirely likely that we

would be using long-form handwritten

forms of communicating

that we’d stuff into a box somewhere

only to resurface after both of our deaths.

Scholars would pour

over our discussions

of the writing process,

the poems we were working on,

reassembling meanings of

the various poems

we discussed

in several journals.

I’m sure some ambitious undergrad

would even get some serious points

scanning and archiving them

for some uninteresting honors thesis.

But it’s the 21st century,

and no one cares about poetry.

PA Step 1

“Hi everyone. My name is Hunter”

[Disjointed mutters of “Hi, Hunter”]

“And it’s been over a week since I wrote a poem.”

[Light claps and “great jobs”]

“It’s weird. I don’t know how I feel about it. I’m not sure when the last time I went that long was.

I had a few ideas.

One about kettlebells.

One half-assed, half-baked metaphor comparing some assholes to mattress stores:”

[Worried murmers.]

“Always open yet, somehow always going out of business, and entirely too common. But I didn’t write it out.

I came really close.”

[The circle of people relaxes.]

“It’s just so hard to tell if this is actually good or bad for me. Sometimes it feels like poetry is steeping in sadness.”

[“Stop with the alliteration. You’re making people uncomfortable.” Ex-poets begin scratching their skin.]


I still have many problems.

Counting all my syllables in batches.

Alternating 7 10

Looking for meaning. Will that go away?

Is this like stoicism?

Ignoring the problem until it’s gone.

While I still pick my beard hairs,

and neruotically plan out my words.

I can’t help it.”

[“Turn in your chip. You’re making people relapse.”]

Plus, I hear there are a lot of new puzzle game apps

I want to find new music,

but I’m practically a dad

listening to podcasts

Modern talk radio

I can already hear groans

from all the half-assed puns

I consistently make,

and even I am asking

can we listen to

something else please

I’m already resenting

my unborn children

for all the time they’ll take

I’m already lamenting

all my half-dead friendships

already on their last legs

so it goes

I suppose

no time for new friends

increasingly less for old

Maybe I should buy an iPad,

high-waisted kacki chinos,

and an over-pocket phone case

Accept my fate

and stop complaing

I’m sure soon there’ll be

some tech support I’ll need for free