Poetry: Selections from Jonathan S Baker

This Way to the Great Egress!

I tell my artist friend,
"We need art
just the same
as food
or oxygen
or the feel
of skin warm and welcoming
against our own."
That's just the bananadine talking,
a coping mechanism
courtesy of Pierre Brassau,
self important self medication,
the gift of grift,
just a temporary salvo
for the pain of existence,
the ache from treading water
hoping to be saved
by schools of Fiji mermaids
before currents pull us under.
There are escape tunnels
on rock walls
masterpieces painted by coyote,
distractions from systems
we uphold like Atlas
or maybe more
like Sisyphus.
Everybody complains
about the weather,
but nobody
does anything about it.

Belle, MO

Standing on the road
head turned up
staring into the starry dynamo,
cloudy blue lines of energy,
the cartography of destiny
until it becomes too much
and I look away
to see Tony
standing next to me
a Rubic’s cube werewolf
between forms.
I think he knows I’m looking.
He really starts stretching his skin
and twisting his head backwards
I can only look for so long
before turning to Snow,
but she is a lounging
pile of triangles
posing for Picasso
planning a book
planning her move.
I’m glad we get this time.
The new grand narrative
or what comes after the grand narrative,
the stars are living unhindered lives
satisfying each other’s
wants and needs
just by existing
but we’re not there yet.
We are the only people here now.
Lightning reaches out
of the clouds on the horizon
and plays with the stars
for the three people watching
from the hills.

The Truth

Truth is a short stocky balding husband and father with a low paying middle management job that spends all day at work being pretty much useless and then goes home to take out his frustrations and get abusive. Other times though, once a month in fact, he is a werewolf. Because life is often more magical under the light of a full moon than lit by the sun or shaded in darkness. In his lycanthropic form, he runs wild through the tall fields of grass at breakneck speeds foaming at the mouth and terrorizing innocent livestock, souring milk and  feasting on chickens. He throws his head back and bellows howls like cold wind that sends shivers down the flesh of the village folk safely locked within their darkened cottage homes. His wife,  Justice, and his two children, also named for other vaguely remembered abstract ancient human concepts, get a night of peace.  It is better the truth be out there tear-assing through the countryside than back at home punching holes in the drywall.  Only silver bullets can kill the truth, not axes or poisons or cancer or the indignities of capitalism, only silver bullets. There are other monsters out there. Love is a vampire, Beauty is a swamp creature, on and on it goes like that.  Equity is a golem, but the Truth has always been a short stocky balding husband and father with a low paying middle management job that is also a Werewolf.

Jonathan S Baker is composed of the stuff of dead stars and has all the same faults as most anyone else. They are the author of several collections of poetry including Thump! Thump! (Laughing Ronin Press, 2023), Long Nights in Stoplight City (Between Shadows, 2023) and Pressure(Two Key Customs) 2023.