A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

    Dan Nowak

you got offended

when i tried to bring you flowers
when i reenacted a John Cusack
movie, when i walked in on you
showering and singing Prince’s
Raspberry Beret, when i asked
you to dance, when i danced with
you anyways, when we talked
about poetry, when i met your best
friend, when i told your best friend
i taught cute girls, when i didn’t
like how you cooked mushrooms,
when we went to counseling and
brought up sex, when i asked you
why you stopped moving during
sex, when i looked at the Urban
Outfitter’s catalog, when i told you
you have no taste in men after me

you once became an astrophysicist

you never once referred to me as Copernicus,
but insisted that my world flat, full of edges,
and the stars refuse to move in my skies. 
i was lying there, on my back, cold tile
trying to inch its devious way underneath my
shirt replacing the toilet seat you broke.
you stared at me, teased your hair again,
and asked me when you could piss because
you really had to. the whole process should
have only taken fifteen minutes, but you
refused to run to Home Depot looking
like you worked there. i fastened the last
washer on the underside of the toilet,
got to my knees and cleaned the bowl one
more time before you shuffled me along.
sometimes i wonder if you even see
how i’m left on your orbit, and my stars 
can never change because you don’t.

My favorite souvenir would be a photo of myself after tackling Dale from Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers at Disney. It took five states and fifteen hours in a car all to show some unsuspecting intern how much a cartoon that ran for two years meant to me. I've yet to find another cartoon worthy of needing my father to help someone in a plushie costume up.


Dan Nowak is the editor and publisher at Imaginary Friend Press, an independent poetry press. He has three collections of poetry out, with a fourth forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press ( Dan currently lives in Milwaukee, WI and is looking forward to the celebration of Samhain.