Tony Iantosca


Are we special,
kids? Waking up
without crying, a coffee
and drill sounds
the continuous
shut up. Have we
opened the door
to our own faces?
Are the measurements
precise or imprecise?
I ask because when
even the old men
hate the police
something has
happened. Something
has happened.

Dirt Trajectory

The poem reaches
its high point
but the author doesn’t
like it. This is why
at the end, we begin
to discuss traffic laws
and the food transmuted
into sleep on the
rattling airplane
stuttering without proof
of insurance. If we lack
charisma, it’s because
the author is always
behind or in front
but never himself
being written
or moved. It is impossible
to move the author.
Otherwise, the correct
reading of the text
would be severely
undermined and we could
only give up and let other
people tell us what’s
really going on. Luckily
the way things have been
planned, with the police
in every finger used
to trace the dirt trajectory
of every nice sentence,
that will never happen.

My settings

Once I failed
at worrying,
my settings
rearranged some
explosions close
to the measured
accent placed
on what I believe
is my zone. But under
this location
is the location—
get it right
or give up thinking
the mutilated
ground or the old
skull’s sands become
wires. They will figure
out how it’s related
to being afraid
as opposed
to experiencing
explosions themselves
without mediating
their supposedly
requisite anxiety
in anything like
a poem.

Tony Iantosca is a poet and educator living in Brooklyn. He has published two books of poems–To the Attic (Spuyten-Duyvil, 2020) and Shut up, Leaves (United Artists Books, 2015). Recent poems can be found in the online journal a Glimpse of, Second Factory, Poems by Sunday, a Perimeter and Periodicities. Recent reviews, essays, and other nonfiction writing can be found in Im@go: a Journal of the Social Imaginary, Radical Philosophy Review and Tripwire Journal. He is a lecturer in the English department at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY).

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