A Week of Symbolic Replacements


poem by Joey DeLuca


Who are you dating and what do you want?
When I was young I found a picture of myself
On a screen in the woods
Now I work at the city rodeo
Via a mass catharsis at the bank
There’s trash everywhere
Two children perform reiki on a dog
A woman engulfs a crescent of bologna
And I don’t mean anything to you

Sometimes when I eat it feels like I’m suffering
Growing up we only had two channels on TV
And then one day a corn appeared
I used to stay up at night to watch
An indestructible and artificially intelligent car
While recording all the reasons you ever cried
Now I hate the way you look
Especially when you say, I know I know Night Rider
Nothing will ever be like this again

I don’t have anything important to say
But I want your attention
Love is a sickness that can be cured
With time television and drugs
And of course meeting someone new
I found a flower I can’t identify
Growing in the office refrigerator
And a child crying in the hallway
Today I’ll stay put and stare
At Lotus Notes dreaming of the plague
And we’ll both go to heaven
Having learned to enter our time
And the reason we made each other up
At the first instance of being alone
What does it mean to look down
After chasing a fantasy over your balcony?
I want to hold on
I want to keep something moving until it’s ruined

I want a car
I want a birthday cake
Whenever someone says, I blew out my knees
I want to think about candles
Hoover Chung and Queenie Ho
Want to join my network on LinkedIn
And I just can’t get myself to accept it

It’s an art transmittal sort of day and I feel like shit
You’re angry I can tell
On the bus I met a nun who took me home
To discuss your method of acquisition
She kept touching my hand
So I slipped into something more comfortable
And called it my happy blue kumquat disgrace

Did we put all our cards on the table
Or did we throw up on each other?
There’s nothing hotter than revision sex
With you: wild small-toed creature
All of your moods are giving me the finger

I just cock-blocked the sun and I’m sorry
Your postcard says the venom has subsided
Let’s hang out
Remember when we co-produced a soap opera?
The script was made of mirrors
And I knew exactly what you meant
When you said, watching the cast fuck up their lines
Is even better than having a coke with you



Joe DeLuca