Illustration © Eric N. Peterson

 

Driving, I saw a confederate flag

Part 1.

Pocahontas was on VHS
with popcorn and
other carcinogens;
we signed the film with oil
from our fingertips
rewound to the beginning again;

there were
cartoon birch trees encased
in still suburbia white
whole milk
and cereal in the morning—
sandpapered skin is what we did to you
spit blood down throats
and thanked god
simple
like a
wolf king
born
in the mountains of a concrete classroom—
no windows.

Part 2.

Data Privacy.
“I don’t have a problem with gay people,”
data walks
like a caricature of digital ghosts
through her mouth into my ears
and I almost hear
what             it
                is         she
                    said
but I was drunk and falling asleep;
                            you wake me up
I reach out for you then the rest of you;
                            you know me
more than anyone
else does
because
              I am pure product;

“I don’t have a problem with
people”
              what
              was
              it           she
              did say?
              transactions tracked
algorithmic
              dead eyes
customized for you
capitalized human fluid
dreaming for reality
like a black transparency
“I have a problem with gay”

 

James Steck lives in Washington, DC and teaches high school English in Fairfax, Virginia. He sketches frequently and enjoys sitting on fire escapes, and performing at open mics. He has been a guest on the podcast, Quintessential Listening: Poetry. His work is forthcoming with Better Than Starbucks and Wordpeace. His other work has appeared with Eunoia Review, Tiny Spoon Literary Magazine Issue 3, Goat’s Milk Magazine Issue 4, Unlikely Stories Mark V, The Odd Magazine, The Wild Word, With Painted Words, and others.

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.

 

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