Six Poems by Joseph Goosey



if only the suffering were unique
said one elephant to the sand
and another heard

good thing this is no high rise
it’s a duplex  

with this lack of luck
I’d land on my feet

don’t tell me nothing’s constant
a scream in a bedroom is responded to 

all the way from Medina
nothing’s constant

I set fire to the water bill  
am not from Ozarks
cannot talk about place

I don’t know
what you’re always so damn damned about




Woke a vapid teenager
Slept in a mass transit bag

Nobody fucks
With a mass transit bag

Nobody but the kind
That is inside of You

When You recommend steak
my dad’s god

Could I use a steak
A smoothie
Some time off
But it’s You
who’s taking time off

And I am so medium rare right now

I’m liable to be sent back
To the chef
Gabriella told me
Not to apologize
For whatever I sweat on her costume
And I’ll take her
As your ghost I’m going

to Dorian Gray the shit out of this night

and if there is no morning




I went out into the world last night
(a mistake) for the purpose
of acting, of being
a complete jackass. 

Actually I’ve done that
twice this week
and both times
the goal has been met. 

This is the coughing AM aftermath. 

I’d go out for cigarettes
but judging from the window

the world will not be kind. 
I used to believe

July 16th was the worst day
of each year and now
I don’t remember
the date with which
it should be replaced. 

I could look at a calendar
but that would be so calculated. 

Maybe I’ll revert to being obsessed
with the pizza place heiress.  

Focusing on the narrative
is something of which
I’m incapable. Yesterday 

I thought about beginning
with the sentence

Maybe I am a witch

but that sounded silly
so I’m saying this instead.



Were the partition knives
I would leap anyway 

Remember, Lucy, 
the time I punched a hole
in the marigold wall

This is kind of like that

but the cops can’t separate you
from yourself
for twenty four hours 

‘cause that’d be magic 

and there are no witnesses
except for two cats
who I believe feel empathy

but are hardly elephants
under whose feet I could sleep 



The cats are chasing a ladybug on the ceiling to which neither of them has access. 

This kind of pain makes me feel all fourteen years old again. 

Like that story about how selfish I was
about what I cried over
on nine-eleven two thousand one. 

On the Sunday you left
I told that story to Ash, our daughter
who adopted us. 

She had just gotten two days suspension,
she said, 
not breaking the hammock, 

‘cause I just love a good nine-eleven joke! 




There is a hole in this lifestyle
into which you could place two fists. 

Frozen garbage and an airplane
bottle of Pinot Noir. 

The shotgun
will have to be taken
into the yard. 
We can’t have the cats

getting euthanized over poor decisions. 

The hum of the fridge
is now the only company. 

Not to be a morbid pun
but could you please cut precisely? 

My dad asks me to get it fixed, 
to tell the landlord. 
I don’t remember

which day was the end.


Joseph Goosey lives in Southern Pines, North Carolina. He is a dropout of the MFA program at George Mason University and the author of four chapbooks.