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. 

Joshua Marie Wilkinson


The Easement


Toy wolves glare from the bushes
& whoso staggers loose
from the rocks with
a good glow from the
beforelife. I’m seeking
your advice, set against
music as I am, 
set up against monsters
as I’ve found in the stars
no friend, the lake
no brother, the current
no story to live with. 



The Easement



All the lamps were turned low
& they’d mistaken the plagiary
for a forgery, set it
at the sill for the moths
to find in the night
where the babies
slept in amongst shades. 




The Easement



In the raw distance a night of birds rose
& I found my bed in the alley
where they’d climbed from
my dream to lower it under
& among the branches of
the mesquite aflame, volunteering—
irrigated with fat blades
of fire—to a glass of water
now here at the lips I
like watching you drink. 



The Easement


Sleep won’t come, but things grow heavier. 
The wet sheets, clean
& drawing with their brightness
the moths to the glow
placed on a window. 
My lamp alive too
reading what I can of
Ceravolo’s moon, Bunting’s
Persia before I drift
in & hit the middle of night
hard, thirsting,& 
drink Jess’s water.

jmw in Berlin 2013.jpg

I got this beautiful old desk for my birthday from my folks last year. Inside the top drawer, covered in dust and lint, I found a linked batch of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk coupons. There's an '89 on the upper left corner of these orange carnival tickets, and they say: "Also Good For Merchandise / At / PLUSH SKEE-BALL / BIG SKEE-BALL / POKERINO - - '21' / 1 Coupon." They live under my lamp, above my desk. I've never been to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, but I like them; who knows why.

Joshua Marie Wilkinson's recent and future works are Swamp Isthmus (Black Ocean 2013),The Courier's Archive & Hymnal (Sidebrow Books 2014), and an anthology called The Force of What's Possible (with Lily Hoang, Nightboat Books 2014). He lives in Tucson, AZ, where he edits The Volta and Letter Machine Editions.