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3 Poems, by Josh Dale

Gimmicks

Lit cigarettes are the biggest gimmick 
to ever grace the population 
but no one’s complaining
in droves anymore

clandestine beings
control all the contents and
currency so what’s the problem 
lesser known

Alighted ash tip
into oncoming traffic with 
a red light the ash
cannot stand a chance 
until it’s chipped 
apart and fizzled
on dead flesh 

Dry the Backs

In the time of cassette tapes and pencils
favorite aunts vying
rigid green hoses spraying
VHS tapes of mundane vignettes
were time capsules before 
they even knew it

now the family homestead is foreclosed
the cobwebs in the basement quiver
as the relics are unearthed
despite only seeing them now
since the packaging
you knew exactly where they were
as if a diagram of basement boxes 
were tattooed on your arm:
“Xmas ‘97”
”photOs Deb”
”Work stuf”
and other minutiae
you wish got ruined
in the flood

Inflammatory

The acquisition of paychecks
doesn’t pay for life anymore
maybe for the silent observers or
standard issue warriors 
that put down rabid dogs before
they bred.
Allocations of food and sunlight
ergonomics and machinations
for the good guys that came home
and changed it all

We’re all kings of the world walking 
in our own world
past one another without swords
and bow to no one 
under thinning umbrella
pieces of paper
alighted in the breeze
gone to distant parts
yet they don’t tell you 
it all burns in the end 
it all rots in the end

Tip Jar
Photo by Josh Dale

Photo by Josh Dale

Josh Dale is a Temple University alum, bicyclist, beer enthusiast, and owner of the sweetest Bengal cat. His work has appeared in 48th Street Press, Huffington Post, Page & Spine, vox poetica, and others. He’s the founder and editor-in-chief of Thirty West Publishing House with two chapbooks and a poetry collection, Duality Lies Beneath (Thirty West 2016).

Thirty West Publishing House Website

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