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Academy of American Poets Summer Series. Recorded at the New York Public Library, August 5, 2014.

About this poet

Justin Marks is the author of You're Going to Miss Me When You're Bored (Barrelhouse Books, 2014) and A Million in Prizes (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2009), which was chosen by Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2009 New Issues Poetry Prize. He is co-founder of Birds, LLC and lives in Queens, New York. 

Mouth Full of Grounds

The dots are on order     Cops patrol
the larger subway stations
on segways     Nobody
gets out of the way    Yesterday
I had a colonoscopy    which required fasting
for 40 hours and taking so much laxative
I shat water    Now my body is clean
I'm cleansed    and have the opportunity
to put only good things in    To start again
But I can't shake this shadow    I call it death
Love so strong I can hardly
function    Every fight my wife and I have had
or will    Why we can't
love each other like we used to
What will happen    to our children
To date, I'm responsible for the deaths
of at least 20 mice    My most triumphant moment
was when I got 6 at one time on a glue trap
then drowned them in the toilet    At work
we have a meeting in which there is only one rule:
No gerunds    My boss' boss
thinks I'm doing an amazing job  
My boss isn't so sure
Blood fills the place on my finger
where I just chewed off some skin    My fear has gone         to waste

From You're Gonna Miss Me When You're Bored (Barrelhouse Books, 2014) by Justin Marks. Copyright © 2014 by Justin Marks. Used with permission of the author.

From You're Gonna Miss Me When You're Bored (Barrelhouse Books, 2014) by Justin Marks. Copyright © 2014 by Justin Marks. Used with permission of the author.

Justin Marks

Justin Marks

Justin Marks is the author of You're Going to Miss Me When You're Bored (Barrelhouse Books, 2014) and A Million in Prizes (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2009), which was chosen by Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2009 New Issues Poetry Prize. He is co-founder of Birds, LLC and lives in Queens, New York. 

by this poet

poem

I live in New York City and a horse
goes clopping by my window.
Then I don’t
hear the horse anymore.
All promises
have been broken.
I lie in bed and pretend
to sleep. On occasion
I see babies sleeping,
little ones lying
on their backs
with baby bones
and

2
poem

The city is a kind welcome

of fire    It's on fire

I tell you         not making sense

in the usual sense of the word sense

but a meteor’s bloom

The bad guys rehearsing

their latest number—

high kicks and all—the good guys watching

videos of unrest in real

2
poem

The bizarre sound of my own
name repeating and people
praying
My hair getting
unwieldy in a world filled
with an abundance that approaches
formlessness    Strangeness
and beauty    Truth
is a melody like a leach
or the aftermath of the disaster
there is no trace of

2