James Barickman

“even better, add a smile”

______________o.k. now
wheels are turning
______i’ve taken some drugs.

cori texts b there soon!
/ moon so big_______ looming
like a dad
who asks whether or not
i believe in god
____________________________ohhhhhh boy

you see, i wanted this whole idea
like a balcony looking over the yard

_______& from here

___________________________you could

practically smell it
:_______ the burning terminal
a mouth-breather’s high
tripping the scent
of some greater mystery.

From here, i get a certain lay
of what’s to come____ a sneak listen
this fucking guy
_______adrift _in his
_______nice little haze
_______before circumstance.
who’d a thought____ he’d get this far?
one broad sweep at cave fire

who’d a thought ____they’d burn
& for so long
______________For that matter
who’d a thought___ POETRY
would be the worst part
of the New York subway?

you see, what i want outta my transit’s
a pounding to set your watch by

Wheels that turn the heft
into lightning _; a lady-
robot reminding you to always
stay aware of your surroundings
while a male one demands you

bruise easy__ and
recover quick.

James Barickman

James Barickman is a bookseller, mover, & sound tech; he co-hosts the Mascot reading series with Cori Hutchinson.