Literary Orphans

Days in Wake
by Justin Langford

Our dreams of clear skies & grass-

stained knees, of dandelions gathered

in piles on knolls in the pasture,

sank in the mud. Our pleasure of

decadent chocolate sex, of piss-sour

fuck, died in the summer streets, rotting

with the discarded banana peels & tamarind.

When we woke our world shook with

yawns, with wine-tainted breath, with cum-

splattered genitals & the wadded condom—

S-shaped like a noodle or the stray strand

of brown hair on the pillow this morning.


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Justin often finds himself in busy restaurants picking at gum underneath tables. As a second grader, he would smear Elmer’s glue beneath his desktop & peel it off after it dried. His glue-picking held him back in school & also his career as a bystander. Now, as an under-employed, gum-picking bystander, Justin finds time to create whimsical fictions & pompous poetry that have turned up in Apocrypha & AbstractionsLummox Press, & various internet sites that have since disappeared into obscurity. He is a Tennessee native raised in the Southern Gothic tradition but has abandoned the cotton fields for the paved streets of Chicago. He also reads for Literary Orphans.


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–Art by Peter Lamata