Thomas Fink & Maya D. Mason


Oatmealers aren’t immune
to the fate of an unlucky pedestrian,
struck in the prime
by inexplicable death.

The bulk of a generation
tumbling into debt to keep
their gym affiliation.

They want to muscle in
more, but

injustice may trespass.

Some reside in vehicular domiciles
to defray the expense of marching
on a treadmill.


I never knew there was so much god
damned fish floating around. Since I read
of no mishaps on Sunday, I will assume
that you arrived as scheduled and in

approximately the same state of good
health I’ve kept you in these past many
months—you lucky girl! Stagnant

since you’ve been foraging. Though colliding
with a wonderful relic built with the purpose of
making hammers. Highly speculative infant
enterprises stir no pungent broth in me.

And the big ones are no bargains, either.
This is the crummiest town of its size
and weight. And I doubt we’ll get rich

on the quantities they’ll seek.
Actually, therefore, I’m no closer to the
solution now than I was when commissioned
in the Quartermaster Corps from OCS for

express purpose of tending to piers,
except that I’m fast coming to accept
the dismal thought of “honest and faithful

service.” Undaunted, but lightly
dented, I’ll go on. And for free, too.
Just go right on thinking I’ll be back. Ever
the conscientious schmo, I can’t pass up a

spot on the roadmap I didn’t know
existed. Rambling I remain. I wish you were
here—either with me or instead of me.

You are constantly in these thoughts; there isn’t
a decent movie in tow. Eyes bugged out
from all that television. I hope you are still bored.
Tucked into your Greenville foxhole with

the AM plugged in. Just retribution in this
exile. And while on the subject of romance,
I’ll assume that you do eat my letters.

Thomas Fink, Professor of English at CUNY-LaGuardia, is the author of 9 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems & Poetic Series (Marsh Hawk P, 2016), 2 books of criticism, and 3 edited anthologies. His work appeared in Best American Poetry 2007. His paintings hang in various collections.

Maya D. Mason is the co-author of Autopsy Turvy (Meritage Press, 2010) and has been published in BlazeVOX, ditch, EOAGH, Helios Mss, Marsh Hawk Review, Of(f)course, and Set. She holds an MFA in Painting at New York Academy of Art and most recently had a three-woman show at Sotheby's Institute in NYC.
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