Joshua Young


i spend most of my free time

convincing others

my friends are amazing

aside from bleeding

how much

more honest

can i be

i open twitter

your timeline is empty

i stare at it for a solid

two minutes

before it refreshes

& all my friends


in this sleep ambulance

my friends

have come to terms

in this sleep ambulance

we fell in love

this is more

about the use of narrative

than the power

of stacking images

who needs an image anyway

who wants this to rhyme

if i tell my students one thing

i know i will

break that

how do we listen

when we’re not supposed to

how do we cut the light

with our hands

ok we have lost

our appetites

here is another way

to cut our dinner

here is someone else’s skateboard

here is the worst thing

i could say

this problem

is toxic

this sunlight

gets wonky

i want a moment

where someone

puts down the book

& thinks about their life

i want people

to understand this

i want poets

to assign this

lend it out

here is how

we make amends

that is a college kid

sneaking booze into his dorm

that is a college kid

buying cigarettes

that is another

driver blaring his horn

at a squirrel

at a crow

at a pedestrian

where is the narrative curling into

the first time we saw

the golden stars

as clear as dakota

chad told me

there’s nothing at the end

of this

just what we make

chad said

it’s just what we make


the rest of this is cigarettes

& blank pages

go home man

you’re drunk

Joshua Young is the author of four collections, most recently THE HOLY GHOST PEOPLE (Plays Inverse Press, 2014). He is Editor-in-Chief at The Lettered Streets Press an Associate Director of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. He lives in Chicago.