Gone Lawn
a journal of word-things
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Gone Lawn 50
buck moon, 2023

Featured artwork, Frank along the Cumbres and Toltec, by Kathleen Frank

new works

Bob King

Because the Weather Changes

Because I am about to be a father, I think everyone is going to be a father. Suddenly that woman & that woman & that woman are pregnant. An epiphany in line. The line for the bathroom because someone else said he had to go. And today everything, the leaves are crying, the sewers are crying, & I’m crying because cancer is raining in too many people. And I’m only concerned because I’m affected. Which could be shallow, but the dirt is never too far beneath the sheen. We always want, like kids near a pool, to splash if the others are. All those bouncy inner tubes. Cocoa butter & chlorine. Get me out of the sun. I’m sun-sick when I should be fluorescent & elastic. My wife is pregnant & here a relative is dying. I think unicycle & tomorrow unicycles on the sidewalk, unicycles on the bed, unicycles zipping open my head like bone saws. Exactly like bone saws.

The Age Where I Need to Take a Photo & Then Zoom In, in Order to Read the Fine Print

There’s nothing more powerful than when someone else believes in you & that you’d, friend, purposefully withhold your belief in another in order to diminish that other, well that says everything about where you fall on the comic hero-villain continuum. Stan Lee wouldn’t waste four colors on you. But just because you don’t belong in this room, because it’s become clear that no one else wants you in this room, & that you can’t see that you’re not wanted in this room, well that doesn’t mean there’s not a room for you. You’re just not inside our entanglement theory. You’re round, thick enough, you’ve a hole for an axel, & how on earth can that be enough? How can you roll without ever considering your wheelness? We’re talking about niche construction theory, ecosystem engineering, response, & evolution. The problem with Zen Buddhist monks in a shopping mall is that they don’t want stuff enough. They don’t even rent or lease cars, let alone buy outright. They are the wheel cutting through the snow & you are the snowflake that never wants to feel responsible for the avalanche. A person’s morality only has clear boundaries until there’s enough cash on hand to permeate said boundary. Gosh, I want you to be a landscape that stands for values in a way that’d make John Muir proud.

Bob King is an Associate Professor of English at Kent State University at Stark. His poetry collection And & And is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Newer work appears in or is forthcoming from Olney Magazine, Bullshit Lit, Lean & Loafe Poetry Journal, Paddler Press, Crab Apple Literary, Words & Sports Quarterly, LEON Literary Review, The Blue Flame Review, The Parliament Literary Journal, Fahmidan Journal, Erato Magazine, coalitionworks, Moss Puppy Magazine, The Daily Drunk, Curio Cabinet Magazine, Spare Parts Literary Magazine, JAKE, The Viridian Door, Ink Sweat & Tears, Full House Literary, Moot Point Magazine, The Gorko Gazette, Drunk Monkeys and Aôthen Magazine. He lives in Fairview Park, Ohio, with his wife & daughters. Twitter: target="_blank">@KingRobertJ.