Jane Joritz-Nakagawa

The end zone



a package's function

to protect its space

why it is not empty


of all kinds

to suspend language

fatal course


precisely that of constructed

commerce of the sign

necessary commodities


afraid of the abundance

of stitches

how can i live with them


my senses heightened

expectations wilted

fragile diversions


grey day

three masks

one white two black


reduced systems of substance

disappearing acts

former relationships


touch me there

oh please

but there is nothing there


a shoring

beyond hope

made to order


drained and trembling

psychotic junction

twitches in my hand


magic bullet

(just as in the theater)

no news received


thought ends (mercifully)

fake panic

self inf(l)i(e)cted


loss, regret

(and then) gratitude

the horizon its own answer


in the alley where

mary jane slipped off

black cotton from china


murmuring figment

a chain of thoughts running through it

dead center


above my paygrade

a dissociative state

i've wa[i/s]ted my whole life



            my hairy leg              hums


on a spit                     veins     open       onto a wilderness


            my tail                        cut         systemic


synthetic                    types of                      anesthetic hubris


            bleed              into     delicate grass              grabs


your synthetic heart             an era torn


            edge of           your body      worn as nature


arrested                      dismembers me         to darken nature


            chill & shiver  shrill           emotional disfigurement


anthropocentric                    fracking impossible



swing vote                             deliver my trance

empty muse                          my keloid sunset

survive shrinkage                mainstream void

ruptured solitude                blood of clients

broken warning signal        i ask without speaking

in my dungeon                     operation of symbols

(same on any universe)


my neighbor's laundry        waving at me

ancestral shape                     dear john letter

my paper thin body a wick on the head of Buddha



why were you half buried in sand why did you

come why were the lights off who is in the study

why the study how long was she there will it take

much longer for her to go did you wash your hands

were you the best lover you could be why did you take

that job when i told you not to why did i say that you

weren't even listening to me were you


anger blooming inside me

inhaling the world

godzilla wearing a surgical mask

will save us keenly


whirlwind of delusion

softly collapsing on itself

exquisite ravings of maniacs fix

the attention of a mechanical audience


majestic and swollen

gaudy companion

brief lexicon

volatile conglomerate


special identity

of voter suppression

dissects what it selects


natural fissures

a floating moment

detached in the partition


my reflection deleted

by an artificial lake

invisible data

treated as bacteria

neck of the woods     

narrow alleyway

distant bluebird


on a plate

in a frame


a tree hovering over

like an angry parent

on its side

like a fallen soldier

the sky playing

its music

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa’s tenth full-length poetry collection, Plan B Audio, was published in 2020 by Isobar Press. Other recent books include Poems: New and Selected (Isobar); <<terrain grammar>> (theenk Books), and, as editor, women : poetry : migration [an anthology] (also with theenk). Email is welcome at janejoritznakagawa(at)gmail(dot)com.
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