Apocalyptic poems, posted every m-f.



when words become obsolete
we won’t discard them, no
instead chopping them and twisting them,
fashioning names out of the things we no longer have –
we’ll call this place turmeric
call your baby hope

our language is a buffalo,
the future brings with it scarcity
and we must use everything we’ve got.



after the fall
it will become impossible to distinguish man
from his perversions
for he will shamble without aim or vigor,
eat the flesh of fellow men

sometimes, he will respond to reason,
words, song,
but other times he won’t

there will be unspeakable things,
in the future,
but they will mostly just be unspeakable
because they will be indistinguishable
from everything else

we don’t talk about zombis, in the future
for the same reason we don’t talk about them


in the future
the concept of adoption will be made obsolete,
replaced by simple clemency

you will be sleeping,
wicker-wound house on scrap metal frame
and there will be the tiniest sound
your eyes will flutter,
silhouette of knife in tiniest hand
you will barely dodge him as he moves in to slit your throat,
fumble for your flashlight
first knock him senseless with it, then turn it on
and appraise the situation

so small,
he will be so small
terror eking its way through his mud-caked surface
his eyes will be permeable
letting anything and everything seep into his head
and heart, directly
he will become your anger if you are angry,
your fear if you are scared

you will spare him the trusty knife, the flashlight reprisal
the torrent of fury
you will recognize that he has been bested,
you will grant him quarter
under your wing,
the walls will crumble, amalgamate
he will be so small
and safe


when we met up the second time
it was in a cave,
we planned only
to harbor the inkstorm
then leave again

had no matches, lit no fire

we fucked for warmth
and then pretended to sleep,
both choking our eyes shut
of happiness, that gale wind
that whips
skimming the ink off the branches and brambles
of our planet,
throwing it upon us,
staining us,
then gone again.

dreaming children

diego wants to be a dancer,
if he grows up

carlene wants to paint, and
maybe chase sunsets

after the fall
we stop telling children
they can grow up to be anything –
we just tell them to grow up
without dying.

but this is true about dreams:
they do not wait for permission.


there is a shortage of leather,
or perhaps a surplus of bikers,
after the apocalypse

they bury their dead in
the ugly hull of detroit –
dead biker city.

there is a single epitaph for
all of them,
carved into the city’s welcome sign:

“i didn’t fall from grace –
i leapt.”

baked beans

today i have no visions
i am eating in front of my computer,
rather lazy

and i wonder if the future will be any different:
dreaming because its easy
eating tins of baked beans because its all that we have
right now,
quiet on the mountainside

i don’t know if it’ll take an apocalypse to cause this,
or preserve it
or destroy it

but its nice
for now

fascinating creatures

and for a moment: panic
that lump in your throat that preempts screaming,
you don’t know where he is

rustle in the bush, a predator
rustle up above, a predator – no,
that’s him
several stories too high up a deadrot oak
“come down,”
you plead, failing to conceal
your anxious fury

“ask me how i got up here,”
he insists, pleased with himself.
you ask, and he tells you that he’s a
flying fish, and that you’re just a regular fish
and that the ground is water;
or, he posits,
he’s a chicken
and they can actually fly in short bursts
when provoked by predators;
no, better yet,
he’s a flying spotted dragon –
“draco maculatus”

you beg he descend, slowly
but immediately,
wonder at your own stupidity:

last week
out scavenging, you came across the remains
of a library,
and of all the gifts,
of all the possibilities, you brought him back this
“fascinating creatures”


i shot him
because i could think of nothing better to do
with the situation

cold and beautiful julie –
you aren’t mine, i don’t own you
but that’s not what it’s about:
it wasn’t jealousy that spurred me

it’s just that
you don’t let a jackal into the wolf pack –
he doesn’t belong there
he will fuck up your hunts and betray you,
his teeth are different
his ears are different
it isn’t good

and if he slinks his way into your pack
through clever manipulation, perhaps
or disguise

then you do what you must
you act the wolf.


in the future
you will be a motorcycle rider,
you will have seven notches carved
into your belt
three into your left handlebar
and a scar across your face –

you will have a flurry of ghosts,
they will follow you around
suckling at you like leeches,
you will have a tumor
in your brain

sad and singular carly,
you will be an abacus,
keeping track of everything
but the days