Three Poems by Jeremy Jusek

a brief love poem

After eighty-five years
of playing rootsie,
the two tree’s branches
finally intertwined.

A breeze blows.

The Local Cinema Was Recently Purchased by a Serious Man Who Believes a Little Less in Movies Than His Idealistic Predecessor

Conscription sat me in a
cinema, where I watched
little movies of my friends’ big lives

and learned who picked whose
nose. And worse still where they
flung the boogers.

I severed my shadow like
Peter Pan, feeling particularly
boyful as I danced

with their silhouettes
and shouted obscenities
at my own.

My shadow paled
as the sun set—its straining
brothers, once mere targets,

shielded by branches from pooping birds,
were become mighty, two-dimensional
ships, waiting for the anchor

to dissolve, swallowing my shadow and
the world and all its creatures
and my friends’ boogers

into an ocean of vague similarities
long past I’d, without my own knowledge,
fallen asleep in my chair.

And who could blame me? The chairs
were recently replaced and attendance was up
into the rafters because the chairs put us there.


Paint is only testable at 4 Mil. Otherwise
detestable. All is detestable, all faded
blighted grime in different colors.
Knick. Knack. Avoid the bubbles.

There are bubbles in my paint
rising to the surface,
pointed crime, progress

A human blip
called a drawdown
starved in a lab
watching paint dry
before it’s time to test
how washable it is.

Jeremy is a poet and playwright living in Cleveland with his wife and two kids. He earned his MFA from Arcadia University, is the author of “We Grow Tomatoes in Tiny Towns”, and runs the West Side Poetry Workshop. To learn more, visit Follow him on Twitter at @JeremyJusek.


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