a literary magazine about money, work, & class


because i carry no hope
the moon smears itself
on the trees
like a dirty soda can
from another notebook

on the tip of my tongue
an old feeling’s dream
i hate that word, “dream”
its glassiness of water
in pictures and nothing
under but tomorrow

what a rip, knot in my back
snowballing again
to replace my heart
w/ an amazon headquarters
and more yuppies begging
the super-rich w/ hashtag

please come ruin our city
we promise to help you
tighten the cement
one isolated incident
after another

year one has begun
it is luxurious beyond luxurious
it fits in the overhead bin
it bites my arm off
and pulls me into the sewer
home of the employee-employer
i keep waking up here

i unroll my tongue
like a red carpet
for socialism
we discuss thirst
we discuss the pesticide
in the wheat
we discuss our service
to a revolving door

a movement of people
in the rust of waiting
walk out, mouths opening
like the hands of a clock
running away from each other

injury music

when they say “nothing is free”
they mean “you work for me”

when they say “we don’t condone violence”
they mean “you work for me”

when they cart you off the field on a stretcher
thousands of little boss-slaves cheering on
your pain

the super bowl of cheerios
in a sink

this complete breakfast
of losers

i wipe my mouth
w/ a napkin

everything is free

the anthem is a dead white prayer

silly string in the street
the day after

waterfalls are not

states are not

what flag are you
talking about

what do you mean by

do you mean the bruises
all over your body

do you mean the people
who nursed you back up

who are you now
all washed up

Ryan Eckes

Ryan Eckes is a poet from Philadelphia. His latest books include General Motors (Split Lip Press, 2018), which is about labor and the influence of public and private transportation on city life, and fine nothing (Albion Books, 2019). Recent work can be read in Tripwire, Slow Poetry in America Newsletter, the tiny, Sundog Lit and Entropy. Eckes has worked as an adjunct professor and labor organizer in education. He won a Pew Fellowship in 2016.