Issue 22






JJ Rowan








when he says to get

on the floor and you

don’t think toward force

maybe gravity

but of an intimacy which

opens your body to the

stale power of assumption

how to explain

to fuckwit

how your power might be

passed between rough palms


complex to form

the nasal and the vowel

(how the mechanics go here)

what is the history

of the negative

in what languages might

it also signify a positive

how a woman with

a breathy no really


wants it


in Steubenville

things are returning to normal

the families

would like to resume

a normal life

the sorry boys are being


the media is being


what it is to be sixteen

and still in existence

this is no time to be quiet

all I can muster

is quiet

I had a lot of time

on my hands after I


I just sat here

waiting &

waiting & waiting


to think

who might access a

body as it sleeps

how ugly are fingers


there is a sinkhole on Lincoln

I’d like to go see

maybe to stand in

modern offering for

a cracked-open earth

what earth wouldn’t

crack open? what could swallow me more than this?


I can’t tell the difference

now between dreaming

the dream and waking simply with

the pit of the dream

at least once daily

to check for familiar cars

weighing the value of one

more visit

to record make/model

and tags

I check Fourth sometimes also

check behind me as

I walk home for slow-moving vehicles

the one truck like his but not his

often in the lot

but in the dream there are no cars

he walks in and shoots me

at my desk or he walks in

and we walk out

we speak quietly in the lot and he shoots me

or occasionally we argue

in the lot and he shoots


but not often

I wonder if any change in geography

would change

the dream / the

waking dream

in the forest

we talk about minimal distance

nothing you say in the forest can ever hurt you and

everything you say in the forest belongs to the trees so just

leave it







a sex offender registry in fossil records. how to embed a crime in marrow. an offense that involves entering an unwanted object into a space and a punishment which does the same. a ritual where the bones of the expired offenders are marked with fire. expired or otherwise. marrow that boils guilty. if marrow would sear true. a record that looses all other records. a sex offender grading scale. when you accomplish, you accomplish under offense. when you are a star, you are a star under offense. your offense burns out your star. stardust doesn’t mean magic has arrived. stardust means something has entered your body which can never unenter. your body opens, is open, to hazard. weak body. bad body. body unstable. body on scale of normal to. your anonymous body is all over the internet. the internet will know who you are. cares not to know. soon your body will be a memory embedded only in cache. soon your body in the halls with the other bodies. where you once passed the bodies that would place themselves in your body. how to dismember a body without removing anything. how human an unconscious body can or can not be. how humanity becomes anatomy becomes a cellular telephone. how lucky that information sharing can inform the holes in your evening. in your evening body. your body which can’t remember the tilt of the sky. how many can witness / how many can tell. so when we burn your bones it will be illogical. it will make us wince. we will breathe you so we can spit you out. that you dare stand up anywhere. that you dare motivate. that you forget / that you are afforded. that you should be sixteen and normal. is normal. is touching. is entering uninvited. normal is shameful. normal will invite you into its halls to be stared at in a pity way but also in the way where you are unfamiliar broken wicked / that your wickedness is contagious / that your brokenness is contagious / that your brokenness is ugly and that ugliness ought be put away










Work by JJ Rowan has previously appeared in West Wind Review, Horse Less Review, Everyday Genius and others.  A chapbook, the selected jesus, is now available from Shirt Pocket Press