NoHo Hank Gets His Very Own Episode

It even says HANK onscreen, where it
normally says BARRY. He’s always known
he’s really the main character. Even when
he didn’t make the Olympic team
in men’s gymnastics. Undone
by the pommel horse. Coaches yelling
Keep your legs together! more
often than southern preachers.
Throwing out his warmups, he knew
what he would miss most. The boys,
the boys, the boys. He likes the mob,
but sits listlessly in strip clubs. Jealous
of the female pole dancers his colleagues
stare at for hours. Watching men watch
women, how did he get here? Crime,
a common choice for people who
previously excelled at something.
He polishes the heroin table with
an excessive use of force. Eet’s my time.
This time. Eet’s really my time.


Reluctant Sex Symbol

The reluctant movie star hits
a reluctant golf ball, then goes home
and uses her reluctant vibrator.

A reluctant unemployed person
becomes a reluctant
food bank recipient.

A reluctant toupee can be worn
by a reluctant thief or a reluctant
student. It fits, reluctantly, on
anyone’s head! Think about that
the next time you wait at your
reluctant bus stop.

Reluctant napping.

Hide from the reluctant
virus so you don’t have to see
a reluctant doctor.

Would you rather be
a reluctant beekeeper or
a reluctant bee?


Meg Johnson is the author of the books Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014), The Crimes of Clara Turlington (Vine Leaves Press, 2015), and Without: Body, Name, Country (Vine Leaves Press, 2020). Without: Body, Name, Country was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards, The Crimes of Clara Turlington won the Vignette Collection Award, and Inappropriate Sleepover was the runner-up for the Rousseau Prize for Literature. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and received an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her writing has appeared in Bust Magazine, Hobart, Ms. Magazine, Nashville Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Sugar House Review, Verse Daily, and many other publications. Her website is: