The future terrifies

The future terrifies.
Care is a mammal emotion.
Remember when it used to snow
and leaves changed to colors
other than yellow and took
months to fall off trees?
Let me say it again:
The future terrifies.
Things are coming for us.
What they are
we don’t know.
Death becomes more real
and thus more inconceivable
for being real.
The Imperial Theme from Star Wars blares
from my neighborhood firehouse.
Technique as a medium for expression.
The universe is a finite thing
growing into something infinite
if you’re willing to wait forever.
Or it’s always infinite.
Either way, a minute is a long time
in a microwave.
Either way, it’s difficult
not to think we’re in
the final days
of some ruinous experiment.

“Keep looking for reality. You’ll drive yourself crazier and crazier,” says Jany in Kathy Acker’s Blood and Guts in High School, a book where things start off horribly and end even worse.

“But the whole aim of civilization is to make everything a source of enjoyment,” says Oblonksy in Tolstoy’s Anna Kerenina, where things begin “very easy and simply” and end terribly, in part because they were never really that easy and simple to begin with.

“Shame on you if you’re not thinking every single year, ‘What’s my next step?’ ” says my career coach.

—————————Be still

————————————-my dying heart

—————————Just minutes ago

————————————————I was young

————————————–What’s on my mind

—————————is on my mind

——————————What’s your story,


“We are the music makers. We are the dreamers of dreams,” says Willy Wonka.

“They’re just humans with wives and children,” says the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne.

——————————–Empathy is a biological emotion
——————————–A specific chemical
Last night I dreamt I was Captain America
——————————-shitting himself

——————————–Water sizzling on a burned man’s skin
——————————–as it runs over his legs from the spigot

Justin Marks’ first book of poems is A Million in Prizes (New Issues, 2009), and his latest chapbook is Best Practices (Greying Ghost, 2013). Recent work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Barrelhouse, Leveler and Interrupture. He is a co-founder of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press, and lives in Queens, NY with his wife and their 4 year-old twin son and daughter.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Issue Six, November 2013 | Matter

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