Brother II

by Joshua Burns
Brother II


Drainage ditches. Crocodile fights for the atmosphere.
The smell of freshly cut grass and a padded ice-cold towel
tossed off on your neck. Some paltry sum will leak pleasure.
You can count on that. Until then we have the market.
And the stream of kitty litter out back. Why eat out?
Blue gloves galore because we’ve been told to stay hygienic.
A toilet that only flushes every sixth piss. I’m just glad
that no one has tried to suffocate me in it. Or blow up
the apartment. The toilet brush is in a newspaper bag.
Don’t hurt me. Our dialogue runs in circles. Strum it
and it expands until every phrase has its corners.
Four walls and the key to turn. Every writer has a rabid fan-base
that established them. You fell into my writing tap.
There must have been some screws loose. A cybernetic station
goes without tending for several equinoxes. Is it any wonder
that it looks bad?




036Joshua Burns & his poems answer to Cha and Housefire primarily with offshoot elements taking root at elimae, C4, Handsome (soon), and The Gallery.



Problem Solving

by Joshua Burns
Problem Solving


Evacuate the obvious. A train donning
a disguise enters a black hole in spring
and comes out in winter. Your best foot
forward is not pseudopodinous (Hate to break it to you).
When I cup my palms in solace, I get it.
It is to be understood. The math classroom
battens pubis and pockets under whiteboards.
This crystalline sharp sharpens another (Harpies).
Takes an ax to sharpen another.
Takes a chicken to have an egg.
Chasing my own tail in baton rings (Greasy)
I play tic-tac-toe, more X’s than O’s,
in the fog my breath makes on this train window.
The station will birth the U and I verse.




036Joshua Burns & his poems answer to Cha and Housefire primarily with offshoot elements taking root at elimae, C4, Handsome (soon), and The Gallery.



Bed Head

by Joshua Burns
Bed Head


It doesn’t have to be a race
to render your vision. There’s
plenty of time. See how much
trouble those actresses got into

in that movie when they didn’t
take their time? They lost
everything. Everything

is, no doubt, different for
different people. In fact,
many films fail to fillet
their characters thoroughly
enough. I mean if you are going
to set a cross up, there damn well

better be a crucifixion. See
if I care whether you take my
advice. I, for one, the perfect
audience, will not be spending
on that same idea again. How
I could have been so dumb
to go from boom to bust
in our universe’s dimensions

is beyond me. Have you taken
a look in the mirror lately?
I know I have. The future
is curled up on pillows.




Joshua Burns and his poems appear at Cha, elimae, The Gallery, and C4. Soon he and one of his poems will appear in Handsome. As always the College of William & Mary, its illustrious faculty, and the never-do-well friends he made there remain in his thoughts.