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"game boys", "grape hyacinth", "Exit 143" and "capitalist comb" by Jawn Van Jacobs

game boys


when we’re young 

we ask our parents 

if our friends can stay 

one more day for play


when we’re older 

we ask our lovers

to stay a night longer – 

one more round of games


the press of A button

we used for controller – 

now updated:

the newest version of


two men together: 

shooting and reloading – 

before entry into 

the next level

grape hyacinth 


more holy than Bethlehem sage 

are these bells atop their steeple. 

the first coming of the garden – 

Eucahrist of higher noon!

Nature’s priest hold tight to them

hitting with buzzing procession – 

consecrating bulbous to flowers, 

the bee’s first taste of concord – 

before turning their blooms 

into a sacramental wine 

used in spring communion – 

to put cross at worker’s foreheads 

with pollen instead of ash.


Exit 143


highway hypnosis, midnight illusions 

my hand wrapped around your stick shift

kissin your neck, makin good on bruises 


turn the dial down

your moans hit like rock music

put on your right turn signal – 

take your eyes off of me

don’t miss the exit up ahead:

143


don’t pull over – 

this is no accident

take us home 

not to my house or yours – 


but to somewhere days don’t pass

like cars over speed limit –

take the freeway  

it’ll only cost

a few minutes more


repaid fully

in all the scenery 

that comes with every pothole,

nail in tire, or yield

at the body – 


they’re not so bad

if we take it slow

and hold fast at collision 

of i love you

capitalist comb


i blew from buttercup to clover 

on breeze of an imperial order. 

depleting each flower

i meet of nectar – 

to keep comb from exposure. 


only permitted a hive 

when dusted blond, 

& my share of honey due. 


sleep, a far-off luxury 

reduced to farmer, 

not his fruit. 


with no wage or significance

paid to its laborer – 

who works so his keeper

can sweeten his tea, 

douse his bread.


American degenerate 


i’m drivin East of Eden 

with an American degenerate – 

got two grams and a couple of 

Grape Games in my glove box


dollar bills and whiskey breath 

hang in the air like Little Trees – 

while he opens up as he rolls

about his mother who passed away


his friends would’ve let him drive home

but i said to call if he needs a ride – 

if that makes me stupid then

i wanna be an American Idiot



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