junkmail oracle

featured poets & artists


joanne cornelius

joanne cornelius tries to disguise the fact that she is a terrific poet by hiding behind stacks of books at the cleveland state university library. she is a devoted fan of d.a levy, a regular contributor to the deep cleveland poem o' the week, and reads her work live on occasion at the deep cleveland poetry hour. jude2424@hotmail.com



in NYC

Jo fit below worlds of heat seekers exiting off of lounge chairs
The retro life couldn't pay the rent, Narnia hurt and men melted
Not every day of every week of every month of every year was cash
Jesus it felt like sun shoes when neon signs fed her
How hard can life lotteries be, raw?
Toothpaste caps became earplugs to bursts of birthing vinyl
Jo led the fixed red eyes into cotton clinics
And demanded meaning ­ kicked out by firecrackers in her face
Glass sandwiches satisfied the rolling boxes
Random domes smashed into her
Fleeing foothold Jo evaporated


With my sisters

Broken down let down going down
Bankrupt eruption corruption of life function
Toobadism lifeisdismalism fuckthisshitism catechism
ALS, Crohn's, a virus, seems the Pius has been lying to us
Live a life die a life cry a life enough of life
Canes and pains and meds and lead and boxes
Empathy epiphanies egos a no show
sisters sweet sisters your pain pains me
My clean health guilt confines me
Crying with you somehow aligns me
My angry screaming for you defines me
Although your future defies me
be beside me



sticky sheep that get lassoed and end up rolling in talcum powder
ask me if Marilyn Monroe wants a pack of Marlboro lights
and I paint the ceiling an eerie shade of turquoise
outside I can't remember where I live and keep ending up
figuring out if I'm dead
the porch is a ranch for dead ants
loose paint is peeling off the house the sky is moist gray
I'm riding the washing machine and wishing
that you were in love with me
I'm drinking in a teepee
alone again with a toilet
no one
no one
no one
ever listens
when I tell them dreams of dreams
I'm a warrior princess and eat margarine with my toes
dangle from the crest of the moon and jump into tornadoes
to see if I can find my stuff
the earth splits and I end up schizophrenic
philosophy is just a song
dreams of rainbow marshmallows
keep me
still figuring out if I'm alive
I'm space, depth, possibilities
enormous, incomprehensible me
bigger and bigger
no limits oozing through my body
I taste infinity


Dead boyman

tin cans dead man pop bottles dead man 15 18 30 any years dead man
cars dead man pot dead man guns dead man rope dead man

boys dreams dead man boys toys dead man boys candy dead man boys life dead man

john's drowned harry's shot tom's shot tim's shot, robbie's crashed another john's shot mike's crashed jerry's crashed another mike's crashed ryan's hung

dead men dead boys dead dead dead all fuckin' dead


Just luck

Jerry would park his car in the sunshine
and pop the hood to air out the wires
then it would rain
and he'd have to do it all over again
Jerry would send in his finished
manuscripts to publishers all over the country
if he didn't hear back in a week,
he'd write and demand them back
Jerry's emphysema didn't stop him from smoking
he'd light up a pipe, 'cause he didn't have to inhale
it was a tumor on his lung that made him stop
I brought him a big bunch of sunflowers once
when he was in the hospital getting a big bunch of tumor tests
he plucked a handful of their petals and hid them in his pocket
just for luck
while he went down scary tumor testing station
when the tumor exploded into cancer juice
and filled up his tall, weak body
September came & he slipped away
later next sunny August I entered
a sweet little sunflower in the County fair
it won a big fat blue ribbon
beat out all the other fancy exotic entries
it stood tall, straight & healthy
proud of itself
I never watered it, the rain did
didn't ask much of it
never demanded a thing of it
It was just luck


Baggie tripping

so what ever became of the glue sniffers?
do they sit still and write poetry with baggie remnants in their nostrils
and have nightmares of jumping giants in playgrounds?
are they desperate for 29 cents and cellophane and do they jump at the sight of rain? Did they die alive or are they alive dead? And what about their heads? Did they fall off and then did they glue them back on?
glue sniffers always frightened me; in the old neighborhood, they curled up like babies, clenching their limp baggies as I spit and tripped over them in pursuit of fly balls.

home page


copyright deep cleveland llc, all rights reserved
comments: deepcleveland@hotmail.com