Collective Unrest


Today Never Ends

June 19, 2019

Joe Biden announces
he’s running for President

deadly kissing bug
spreading across

the United States

there is something
at the end

where it rains plasma
on the sun

where hands touch
where the circle

stays unbroken

Britney Spears
leaves wellness facility

wanders America
through quarantine zones

back from the dead

no music

when Britney’s tired
she looks to the sky

launching into space

it makes her a little happier

It was a shitshow
Melania Trump’s birthday

E. coli outbreak
killed the birthday cake

a seizure of sweetness

old white man
crashed the party

something in the water

they scratched
each other’s eyes out

for the soul of America

Model dies
after collapsing
on catwalk

cocaine found
in plane
after crash

shut down
after bombings

record levels
of sadness
and anger

Say hello
to the god of death
Taylor Swift’s
new cat
on an asteroid

people are fleeing
New York
meatless Whoppers
on the Atlantic
how hungry are you?

Yeti footprints
in spring snow
mocked on Twitter

we’re desperate
for anything

herpes outbreak
in our hearts
whenever we love

random bullets
in our homes
whenever we try to fight back

time for a new reality

Somewhere in Ohio

boy pulls sister
from car
to prevent kidnapping

under the influence
of heroin

bravery is young


underpaid carpet cleaners
discuss Karl Marx
over chocolate chip cookies

bravery is sweet

William Barr
in deep trouble
200,000 new viruses
in the ocean

so let’s distract ourselves
tell ghost stories
about the ones
that got away

shit, that’s not good
in haunted houses
caused by carbon monoxide

Chewbacca died today
it’s sad

so you renovate your heart
find a mummified human torso

maybe a message
from the other side

avoid being crushed
into archaeology
never lose your head

fight evil with poetry
fly a spaceship over Detroit

Suddenly, everybody’s
talking about teeth

Sonic the Hedgehog
running past the pain

a bizarre land
where vampire facials
are all the rage

where the CEOs
of opioid companies
give lap dances to addicts

where the sky
is a killer asteroid

Fortnite’s volcano
has erupted
you shouldn’t bottle up
your emotions

clock is ticking
for coal miners
who suffer
from black lung

slow dance
in a parking lot

A little bit of magic
so bedbug legislators
disappear for good

no more biting
when we’re trying
to dream, to live

a little bit of magic
so Britney Spears
performs again

more songs
about toxic men
going up in flames

a little bit of magic
so Grumpy Cat
rises from the dead

to close all stores

I’ve never been to
a Dressbarn

but I’m sad
when something

is dying

where will
all the animals go?

volcano summer camp

where they’ll learn
how to flow again

how to dress
for your best self

fuck being endangered

Natalie Portman
Moby’s claims
they dated
in 1999

when the sky
was all purple
when a prince
still sat on the throne
when dancing
still meant something

when the Garden State
was all porcelain
when I wasn’t a drunk
when I still believed

in the power
of pop punk

Plz declare
your independence
by any means necessary

the billion-year-old fossils
buried in the dirt
of your heart

will one day
return to the moon

you are
the largest

when you cry
your eyes are

burn it all down
the savior

is a crater



Justin Karcher (he/him) is a Pushcart-nominated poet and playwright born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He is the author of several books, including Tailgating at the Gates of Hell (Ghost City Press, 2015). He is also the editor of Ghost City Review and co-editor of the anthologies My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVOX [books], 2017) and MANSION (dancing girl press, 2019). He tweets @Justin_Karcher. Instagram:

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