Posts in poetry
Voter. Fraud.
I Voted sticker art.png

i’m on the right side —
well not the right side, but the left side,
but the left side is the right side
because it’s my side.

i vote the red side
because the red side is the better side.
even when i don’t know who’s best, i
see the red sign beside
them, which implies
they’re on the true side,
not the blue side
which is the left side
which is the right side
which is my side.

i cheer the good side,
the only good side
‘cause they’re the good guys!
they’re the rad guys,
not the bad guys
on the the other side
which is the red side
which is the bad side
which is the blue side
which is the wrong side
which is the right side
which is the left side 
— which is my side?

on the inside
i wonder if i
should side with one side or another;
perhaps the downslide
is voting for a side —
not a candidate, but a color.

poetryJake Novak Comment
Thought Experiment

I wish I could live in someone else’s head
for a day, no more,
maybe two, sure,
but no more
than that, just long enough to feel the dread
inside that head,
its anxieties,
of disquiet, ease
into its deepest darks,
tap its barks
and read its quarks
in detail to hear
all of that someone’s fears,
which would take not days or years
but moments, if they’re anything like me,
which I would see
by minute three
they are, and I’d understand that dread
is just a byproduct of owning a head. 

poetryJake NovakComment
Haiku Existentialism

What is a haiku?
A Japanese poem, sure,
But could it be more?

Maybe haiku is
More a concept and less a
Structure. For instance,

Is it a haiku
If it has the wrong amount
Of syllables?

Or if the words are not ar-
Ranged in the right or-
Der? Still a haiku?

What if the whole thing Was written on just one line? Haiku, yes or no?

You write a
Book as a haiku?
Maybe if you added two
More beats with every passing line, and
When you fin’lly reached the novel’s central point
Began to wind the story down in
Small and smaller strips of text
Until there was a
Single word

Or is haiku set,
Always five, then seven, then
Five, and nothing more?

Most will likely say
The last one is true, full stop.
But what if it’s not?

poetryJake NovakComment
High Priorities

“Wanna toke?”
“Sure, oke.”
“I smell smoke.”
“No joke.”
“Hey bloke.”
“You spoke?”
“Got coke?”
“Whoa, coke!”
“Whoa, coke…”
“No coke.”
“I’m woke!”
“I’m broke.”
“Let’s get poke.”
“No joke.”
[poke poke poke]
“Let’s eat poke!”
“You mean poké?”
“Sure, okay.”
“Thanks for the toke.”
“Stupid coke.”

poetryJake NovakComment
Middle School, Revised

Everybody told Tex,
“You should try out phone sex!
Take a picture, hold, flex—
take it while your cold pecs
are covered up with gold flecks—
and send it through the vortex.
Come on, now, be bold, Tex!”

Tex said, “I don’t like it; no,”
and everybody let it go.

poetryJake NovakComment
Morning Routine

Thomas woke
with a croak,
then he loudly spoke:
“That’s it,
I quit,
life’s shit,”
and he fell into a pit
of despair
as he did his hair
wearing nothing south of there.
“I don’t care,
I swear,”
he proclaimed,
and with locks untamed
and spirit maimed
he blamed
his whole misfortune on his boss:
“Listen, Joss,
my departure is your loss;
I’m the secret sauce
which you would toss
aside without a stutter.
No, I don’t bring home the butter,
barely speak, I mostly mutter,
eyes aflutter
when I talk
to you. I gawk,
it’s true, but I will walk—
it’s not a balk—
the line was drawn in chalk
and you erased it,
defaced it,
and never replaced it—
come and taste it!”
he said with sass
directly at his naked ass;
Joss was in the looking glass.

poetryJake NovakComment
Sadie the Steel-Cut Oat

Sadie the steadfast steel-cut oat
Wouldn’t let herself be eaten by a goat or a stoat.
So she dug herself a moat,
Gave herself a yogurt coat,
And told her friends to join her on her boat.

She wrote,
“All my fellow grains better heed this note:
Don’t let yourselves be swallowed, chewed down to a mote.
Life is good, don’t you know’t? If you care one groat
Then exercise your will to stay afloat,” end quote.

But as the beast drew the bowl nearer to its skull, it
Was clear that her peers were succumbing to the cull. “It’s
A good life, sure, but admit: it’s dull, it
Isn’t grand,” said Dan with the oat bran mullet.
“We’ll be better off once we’re down this thing’s gullet.”

Sadie screamed “No, don’t! Can we put it to a vote?"
She was begging. “Sorry, Sadie,” said the oats by rote
As they jumped into the throat of the stoat or the goat
And combined like a kind of oat zygote.
That was it for them; that was all she wrote.

For the first time, Sadie was alone, undone, gone
To such complete hysterics that she didn’t see the tongue
Which was coated in her friends (and a little bit of dung)
As it zeroed on her hiding spot, whisked her toward its lung,
And returned her to the cereals she wished to be among.

poetryJake NovakComment