Stressed Out by Paul Lojeski

stressed out paul lojeski by rama

I’m my own murder scene.
One-eyed, bloody-nosed medics,

circle the corpse that is me,
even though I’m smiling and

wink and sing out, how’s it
going boys? But no one answers
including those thick-waisted

trees bending in the screaming
hurricane, nor a gang of cops

scurrying in, smoking, spitting,
grabbing crotches as if there’s
meaning or magic there
instead of mundane menace.

Blue fire at the horizon flares
brighter, as I’m tossed on

the gurney and rolled into the hearse
they claim is an ambulance.

It all makes sense to me, though,
I tell the heavily-armed woman
at checkout of my favorite grocery,

the one selling tins of purified
air guaranteed to extend mortality
by 11% or your money back.
Or more likely your next of kin’s

because you’ll be dead then, but I’m
not, at least, I don’t think I am.

 

 

Paul Lojeski was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio. He attended Oberlin College. His poetry has appeared online and in print. He lives in Port Jefferson, NY.

 

Photograph by Rama.

#GunViolence: Fish by Paul Lojeski

The man behind the fish counter
weighed out a half-pound of Fluke,
wrapped it, handed it over and said,
Anything else? I wanted to ask him

about the latest shootings but knew
he was strapped to the same machine
I was (flames and sparks shooting
out around his body, halos of gold

and silver stars). That’ll do it. Thanks,
I said. And because we were familiar
to each other, we smiled and nodded.
I put the fish in my green basket and

walked away, feeling the bindings
tighten slightly, heat increasing,
thinking, this is all wrong. Every bit
of it. Then I saw the wave of sparks.

 

 

Paul Lojeski was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio, and he attended Oberlin College. His poetry has appeared online and in print. He lives in Port Jefferson, NY.