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. 

Francesco Grisanzio



Cracking into the coal seam, a brilliant 
yellow  light  may  emerge.   This is   a
canary’s   ghost,    known    as    fool’s  
gold.    Allow  it  to  flutter  about.   If it                           
helps,  think  of  it  as  scared. Think of
existence in coal’s low porosity.   Close
your  eyes;  the  canary  will  burn  with
building   intensity   until   extinguished.
Resist   the   urge   to   strip,    as    the
temperature    will     return     suddenly.           
When   the  shrill  whining  begins,  you 
will   need   to   plug  your ears or nose.
Choose  one,  you  can’t  secure   them            


When I was 15 or so, I went to Rome and bought an oversized lollipop with a picture of John Paul II inserted into the front of the packaging. A lollipope. I spent the flight back to Boston holding it in front of my face and working on a pope routine that I'm still pretty happy with: “Does the pope wear a funny hat? No, it seems pretty reasonable to me." "How many popes does it take to screw in a light bulb? I can do that myself, but somebody else usually takes care of it.

Francesco Grisanzio is the author of the chapbook Stories & Centauries (Strange Machine Books, 2013). His work has also recently appeared or is forthcoming in Phantom LimbJellyfishHandsome, and a Greying Ghost pamphlet. With Kevin Walter, he co-edits BORT Quarterly.