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Jack Jung


Hammer

Feeling extra technical O most lyrical,
Almost an extra-terrestrial terra-forming fanatical,
Caltech engineers cannot calculate
Tactically weaponized nuking of my rate
When it’s so freaking fast I’ve already passed
What predetermined fate cannot emancipate,
All according to the procedure similar
To illegal contra-banding of brands and pedicures,
And the ecumenical dogma of an animated corpse
Anticipated in the walk-up to the final boss is
The territorial nature of a brood mother in her cage.
So, this sentiment sanctifies
(Don’t wait!) all the ecclesiastical particulars
Of proclamations barked out and sentimentalizes
Ozymandias’s onus.
Each piece a collateral collective bargaining
Memorandum of acts thrown off verandas,
The ghost of post-it notes, my Miranda.
Word-orgy scoured of pathology
A thousand-time fold of bad iron can’t fix.

 
 
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My Jawbone Looks Like

This mandible of manatee in cryotherapy—
Theoretical donkey jaw perhaps a Samsonite,
A carry-on for sky-scorching jet-fuels,
Israelite with superhuman God-given strength—
Are the bags made of minerals that some son ate?
Silver manganese antimony sulfides
In steel-black monoclinic prismatic crystals.
O good chemist! With all this hard science
Can we cook pure amphetamines,
Anti-memes of aging mnemonic devices?
The mathematics required are already breathless.
A mouth falls off reciting hyped-up charges,
The iced jawbone melting down its DNA.
Without rest can it make a speech?
This new crystal skull of prolonged absence
Euthanized by the blind,
Who got his mojo back with Rockstar hair
Pushing the pillars and Delilah dead—
Dust rarely settles on his destroyed arena.
A heavy trunk holding two bodies,
Loving your barber is a dear price to pay.

 
 
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Orion’s Song I

Snarl, Artemis. Let’s play net-less tennis.
Miss me with that harlequin, this hot list
Is for you, O queen! I’m putting on a mask
To win prizes and get a rise out of my huntress.
Bob my head if my game’s lame: I’m a shameless
Hairless body in your palace’s airless lobby.
The moonbeam is your finger reaching me
Even without the sonata. So Imma make
A hot bread with my stale baking soda,
And bet that an oven mitt is good enough
To disguise a maimed hand—
Same as the golden goose though it laid no egg.
See, my Santa sock is filled with black coal,
A couple of million years old since it was gold.
The Moon was buttery smooth once, too,
Like the Sun, as if it had tried hard to be one.
Yes, I’ve hunted all the animals—
This is how our ballistic tale ends,
My belt’s lights going out one by one.

 
 
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Orion’s Song II

Are you hissing at me, Artemis? Come here
And kiss me if you are going to bury me.
Hell of a thing to ask your daddy to do
After all that has happened between you two,
Making stars out of me to consecrate.
Let’s look at the astrolabe together, baby.
The strobe lights will not stop until the dance ends.
It’s ended? Give me my lance and shield,
Sancho, and my horse! This dutiful errant-knight
Isn’t going to sleep after all his errs
But labor like an ant still working on his colony.
O baloney, Christi Corpus sanctimony!
What is illness to my destroyed body?
Each time I fall I will go to sleep!
Don’t let me wake up as a heavenly body just yet
Or with an arrow in my back. Be gone, Cupid!
It wasn’t your shot that killed me,
But every act is arguably a cause of another.
Dear lover, I am still getting over it.

 
 


 
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JACK JUNG is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow. His translations of Korean poet Yi Sang’s poetry and prose are published in Yi Sang: Selected Works by Wave Books.

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