Joshua Young is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, with Chas Hoppe The Diegesis (Gold Wake
Press), as well as the forthcoming THE HOLY GHOST PEOPLE (Plays Inverse Press). His work has appeared or is forthcoming from Puerto del Sol, Fugue, Gulf Ghost, Vinyl, and Third Coast, among others. He is the Associate Director of Poetry & Nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago. He lives in the Wicker Park neighborhood with his wife, their son, and their dog. Find him here: thestorythief.tumblr.com.
word is those punks who wailed on that ave
rat disappeared during ss decontrol’s set, &
not even their names stayed, like poof, like
their parent’s don’t even remember them, like
they can’t even be ghosts, like the boston
crew found out they were into booze & drugs,
pulverized them into the wood, like they ain’t
even atoms, like m says, this’ll be just another
thing we’ll shrug about when people ask, in ripper
dys talks about it, says, everyone was diving, creepy-
crawlin’, slammin’, & piling on. next thing, these
fuckers were gone. we worked them into history.
i can feel the pressure on my shoulder, as his
hands inspect me for weapons. i don’t carry.
violence is the refuge of the weak, unless it’s
necessary, or at least that’s what m says.
someone says, you pigs—rubber band straps &
we’ve got the whole thing going again, look at
how cars slow, wait, do you know what it’s
like to watch traffic from a balcony? look at
the what joggers swarm the lake trail in spring,
the sun fills every crease out there, & people
keep talking about how much they love the mariners.
i can feel the pressure on my shoulder, his
foot is there, pressing, & when the breakdown
clatters through, he pushes off, back into the
crowd, still chugging through the progression.
studs & black belts we don’t wear, but the
kids have wrapped them around their waists
& wrists, & we’ve got the whole thing going
again, look at how the older swerve from
where we stand, wait, do you know what it’s
like to tuck yourself into a vans? do you know
what it’s like to keep duct-taping what you
own till the duct-tape won’t hold? look at
what the highway patrol stops every time &
people keep talking about how the road is
hard to stay on.