“The Hurt of History” © John Engstrom


Black Medicine

digital skin walkers back
              from the brink of extinction.
AI-generated Trickster virus
downloading crowdsourced
              personal data directly
              into cranium chips.
Virtual reality handshake
between remote machines.

Fire wall trojan horses,
wait, bottom line like Weyland
              Corp cops tweaked
              on hard-wired neural implants and jack juice …
{Define, please}: ___
{definition: a cocktail of tar sands,
              caffeine drips and cyber
                            buffalo cum.}

Red terminal neon, poison night,
a soot that weighs down everything
              with the gravity of sin.

Any other city, and we’d both
              have fewer exit wounds.


Tripp J Crouse (they/them) is a Two Spirit Ojibwe-descended poet andspoken word performer based in Juneau, Alaska. They have been previously published in Zygote in my Coffee, Grassroots and Other magazine, and have poems in forthcoming issues of Yellow Medicine Review and beestung.

John Engstrom is a Boston-based artist-author-poet. A retired journalist-museum worker, he serves as Arts critic for the Fenway News. His collages and poems appear on Facebook and Divergents Magazine.