(not quite) a literary journal


3 Poems, by Dylan Angell

A Very Important Man

I am a very important man 
and I am just like everyone else
When it’s hot I kiss ice cream 
When it’s cold I burn dollars 
and rub the ashes into my skin

I eat soggy hamburgers with dead tomatoes 
and feed french fries to stray dogs 
Just like you do

Success doesn’t change people
Just ask me
Sure, I have eaten fish eggs in helicopters 
and I’ve made love in the avalanches of Kilimanjaro 
but the rain doesn’t know my name either

I am just like you 
I don’t sleep at night
I often watch the sunrise 
while speaking to ambivalent ghosts 
who flicker like dead stars 
while barely noticing the bird’s song

Look, I have been forgiven by the buffalo 
whom I chased into the canyons 
and by the children who bathe in the river 
but there is no bible verse that claims that angels have souls

Sure, you will be forgiven 
for having sent your kids to public schools 
and for your overdraft fees 
but do you think god noticed 
that I was fake crying at the symphony?

Some Things I Know About You

Your uncle made maps of underground rivers. 
You have a picture of your school janitor that you found
in a toolbox in a abandoned shack in the woods. 
The shack was covered in satanic graffiti. 

Your grandmother’s cello burned during the blitz.
The bow is hanging on your bedroom wall.
You farted once on a bus 
and an old man said “for the love of god.”

Your cousin is a opera singer 
and she insists that the rest of the family learn sign language
for when her voice tires.

You have wondered what a blind child would dream of
when they have their first sex dreams.
Your uncle has a piano rotting in his backyard.
Sometimes the rain taps the keys.

All of the pictures from your parent’s wedding
were shot on exposed film. 
A orange cloud hovers over them in each shot.
In some pictures they are eclipsed by the cloud.

You have only heard your favorite song once.
When I went to the bathroom
you sprinkled salt and black pepper into my ice cream sundae.

The Winner

The sheriff found me asleep on the sidewalk and drove me to the state line.
No one called me on the day my daughter was born. 
I saw a flock of birds suddenly change their direction just as they flew over my head. 
I climbed into a tree and hid till dark. 
The next day at school I was declared the winner.

Strangers ignore me because they won’t forgive me for my past lives.
I was drunk when I crashed my car into the sand dune.
I have heard some people meditate by spinning in circles. 
The singer banged the microphone repeatedly on his bare chest 
and as I looked up at him, his sweat stung my eyes.

If you were here I would tell you 
that it was I who found you on the kitchen floor.
I watched Andreas jump into a waterfall
and then he came up and his nose was bleeding. 

I pulled myself out of the car 
as the sun began to rise.
The light was so strong, 
yet I didn’t want to face the day that was going to follow.
Like enjoying the sound of bells
that are coming from a church that you would never go into.

I walked to the ocean and undressed.
I swam out far from the shore.
I floated on my back.
I looked up and again, 
the birds changed their direction. 

Someone stole the playboy in the woods.
I swear it wasn’t me.

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Dylan Angell grew up in Durham, NC. He is a musician, a writer and is currently based in Queens, New York. In 2016 he released the book,“An Index of Strangers Whom I Will Never Forget A-Z,” via his Basic Battles Books imprint. In early 2017 he released “I'll Just Keep On Dreaming And Being The Way I Am,” a collaboration with the photographer Erin Taylor Kennedy. In late 2017, he released the zine “Funeral Songs,” a collection of writings by anonymous contributors who speak of death-related experiences associated with or accompanied by a song.