Children are screaming their heads off down
the street, I can hear it through the open window
as I listen to Bernstein and prepare a pair of salmon
steaks for my friend who’s provided me an ETA.
Salt, lemon, dill, brown mustard. Sweet potatoes
in the oven. Green beans, onions, and mushrooms
cooked in butter and red wine. Someone must
have told the Lord that I was doing fine. I could
not have known it was peace I was chasing, not
then, as I volunteered my guts to the sex jackals.
What does it mean to deserve anything? What dues
does the council expect us to pay? High on a shelf
Moses surveys the room. I’ll put a plant up there
and burn it. Everything ever written is a metaphor
for this feeling and none of it comes close. A friend
arrives through a door in the moment, a door built
of mockingbird song. This is an ode for you, O
mockingbird in the darkness, mock that mother
fucking darkness.


Somewhere Beyond the Sea

How many times in a row can the Italian restaurant
play “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” before

I lose like Ishmael my leniency for land and start to punch
the potted plants? It’s November, my birth

month, I was born in the year of the Pig
and this morning I ate the big piece of cake

my sister brought home for us to share, I ate the whole thing, she didn’t
get a bite, she brought it home for both of us

and didn’t even get a bite. Somewhere
beyond the sea there is a somewhere with a sea

beyond it and beyond that there is a somewhere, etc.
I think the song has finally changed but all this big band crooner

bullshit sounds the same to me. Someone dreaming
of someone who’s not there, but where is

there, you salesman, we’re all right here and taking it
away from who we love.


Jeremy Radin is a writer, actor, teacher, and extremely amateur gardener. His poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in PloughsharesThe Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, The Journal, and elsewhere. He is the author of two collections of poetry: Slow Dance with Sasquatch (Write Bloody Publishing, 2012) and Dear Sal (Not A Cult, 2022). He is the founder and operator of Lanternist Creative Consulting, through which he coaches writers and performers. Follow him @germyradin