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  Jan 2015 Josh Koepp
Eroshu Homaj
Yea, the desert I tread is the dry Tongue of the world;
The sky its open Mouth.
I climb up the taste-bud sand mounds to look for peace,
Hoping Earth will spit me out.

I lay still with the wind, the Breathe of the world;
And gaze at mountains that look like Teeth.
Josh Koepp Dec 2014
Here
I made a video right here to help you understand
Well i mean, you technically made the video...
I just uh...
Borrowed it?
I can see that you're...mad
But you know now right?
Please
Sit back down, you can wag your finger after
This is important

This is a video your child took of you mowing the lawn in 1994
Her big strong  parent, fumbling with this heavy-as-hell-is contraption
That sputters, and whirs, and kicks back
But like some superhero you...start to shove it along, and conquer the beast
And it sprays curiously alluring smog, that like a well behaved child, she knows not to breathe in,
Knows not to touch because she's not old enough
Or strong enough to pull that chord to trigger the bells and whistles
That she, nor i, nor probably you understands.

But i digress...

So here you are, with your child on the stoop, taking might i add some
Fine, stable footage you should really enroll her in some classes,
And you traveling around your suburban front yard, chasing away a squirrel with the lawnmower, harmlessly of course
And laughing with your daughter
Talking to your neighbors over the roaring engine,
Emptying the bag of fresh cut grass into the bin...

And that's where the battery died
No! Don't leave yet
I want you to watch again, listen again
Here...
Listen closely...








Did you hear the grass screaming of their judgement day, beneath the lovers kissing each other goodbye, wrapped around each other, as we hold hands, still entangled in  the mass graves you made for them

Beneath the ants cowering in their homes, begging their laborers to come back inside before they are noticed, before they are eviscerated and the foreman is forced to pay settlements

Beneath the subtle sound of your daughter breathing deeply of the sweet smelling gas that you told her to stay away from, that we learned to be repulsed by, that she has been told to be repulsed by

Beneath the...
Here, i'll rewind again
Here
You see the label on the lawnmower?
That manufacturer? That bar code? That order number? That factory? That steel purchase? That mine?
Did you hear the songs of the forced laborers there, the modern slaves that bear striking resemblance to the songs you learned in high school history class, except softer, pushed under the magazines

Beneath the squirrel complaining to the squirrel police about dangerous and disrespectful conduct it's neighbors have been performing when he comes to say hello and finally meet someone in the neighborhood, that he's lived so long in, just to be told it's not "Illegal,"

Beneath the slightly offensive joke you made towards your black neighbor, who missed the punchline over the roar of the engine, when you asked him why he was so light skinned, and whether that was a "slavery thing,"

Beneath your child hearing everything

You didn't yet...
You made that happen, didn't you?
This isn't me judging your character
I don't blame you "O' causer of destruction"

You were not given the tools i was given
And similarly i... was not given the tools you were given

You were given a lawnmower, and a camera
A beautiful daughter, a home, a job
Gas! The ability to live where you want!

I...well...
i was given the opportunity to talk to the grass...

And well...

In 1994, that same year, in Rwanda an atrocity was committed, a genocide.

And the characteristic machetes used to massacre the Tutsi people
Contained the same steel blend, from the same producer
As the blades in many lawnmowers at the time.

This isn't a conviction
I did this because i wanted you to know and be okay with being complicit because you exist a certain way
Innocent because you never knew, and couldn't have known

Because we love you
Because we need you
Because we need you to know now
Josh Koepp Dec 2014
Man, you know what's good? I ****** this fine ***** last...
Dude, **** yeah. I heard you been tellin...
Son, you need to treat women with more respect. Remember when i...
Dad, i heard your stories already. It won't happen again, i'm...
Guys, are you sick of being single? This new website is...
****, okay. Am i really doing this? I guess it's not that...
Bro, are you really using a dating site? why can't you just get girls like...
Normal? Is this normal? No, i should cancel my...
Sweetie, i saw that coffee girl making eyes at you when we were...
Blond with the notebook? No, that's just Brin. We have...
Blond with the ****? Dude you gotta tap that before...
Bro, I told you, we're just...
***, why don't you just go talk to her? She's...
You aren't listening, I...
Weak, you haven't ****** in months. She looks like she gives...
Who knows? Maybe I just...
Son, i noticed in the computer history; you aren't...
Gay? No, dad i was just...
Boy, men don't do that ****. Stop...
Maybe, maybe that guy was right. Maybe i'm too...
Dude, punch me right here. My abs are...
Man, i mean should i really be...
Never, you're never going to find a nice girl with that haircut. What's a mother to...
Girl? Well i guess it has gotten kinda...
Hey, i was thinking, do you want to maybe...
Friends, friends right? You want to...
Playa, you're such a playa. Now you got...
Man, i swear...
Baby, i love you. Do you love...
Love, I...You, I...Don't...
Men know that providing for your family is the best way to...
We aren't even that...
Cuz, remember when i stole that...
Dude, you almost got...
Boys, are you ready for some hot fun? Just click...
Guys can...do that to...
Strong, or maybe bigger? I just wish i couldn't see your...
Babe, i'm already going to the...
Mister? Why do you wear make up? Isn't that for...
No, those are just my eyes. It's how i was...
Sorry, look. You just never shared your feelings and in the bedroom i...
Honey, we were doing so well, i thought i was making you...
*****, stop crying you *******...
I'm sorry, i was...
******, pay attention or i'll...
I wasn't doing...
Pretty boy, i bet you like it in...
i'm not like that, i...
Son, we said you have to play at least one sport: It'll toughen...
i just don't...
Monday Night Football! The...
i wish dad...
Dude she's so drunk i bet you could...
i...
My **** is much bigger than...
i...
Men can stop ****, men are part of the...
i...
He for She, an organization where...
Hollywood *****, passed out on the...
Why don't you just order one of them Russian...
Gifts for him! He'll love this new...
**** me, **** me. Yea, **** me so...

*"...and then, Jill, i started asking myself: Why are our boys
doing so poorly in school, in America at least? Who's making our boys
be so ****** about *** and violence, i mean, as a mother
i'm certainly doing the best for my kids...
Then it just hit me."
Cited

System of a Down
Fox News
UN Conference: He For She
Papa Roach
Monday Night Football
Josh Koepp Nov 2014
When i put this future in the microwave:
Would you say it pops like popcorn?
Or like kneecaps?
Bottlecaps?

And if i wrapped it in tinfoil
Would it spark?
Or disappear?
Or pop at all?

And if i placed the plug between my lips
And closed my eyes,
Would the door open?
Would time really matter?
Would my mother judge my current life decisions?

And then if the morning after i woke
Electrified, paralyzed and confused
Would wool feel still so itchy?
Would i still be where i stood?
Or there at all?
Josh Koepp Nov 2014
Surely,
There must be inumerous inadvertant staring contests happening
When haplessly gazing across the edge of the world
When, too tired to remember that the ocean has many shores,
One looks out seeking lighthouses
Made of curls braided into the backs of their head
As to not run aground,
Drown;
In the bottled reminders we endlessly toss at our own backs;
Why did you think the water gleams, undulates and winks
With so much meaning?
Josh Koepp Oct 2014
YG
So let's talk about nice guys

The "Kindness paves the path to your *******" Nice guy
The "Holds you tight to touch your ****" Nice guy
The "Can't wait to shed that friendship under the sheets" Nice Guy

And of course

The "Asks you how your day is" Nice guy
The "Walks you to your car just to say goodnight" Nice guy
The "Active listener, no ******* advice giver, forgoes eating dinner because you needed someone to just talk to" Nice guy

Please tell me you can tell the difference
I hate being mistaken for the twin I never asked for
He breaks your Windows and blames it on my good intentions
Somewhere along the line
He triple knotted my kindness to my *****
without my permission 
And now every kind word 
Is heard like a red flag
and thus making friends 
makes wary eyes
My kindness misread
Misheard and mistaken
I've learned Some sounds are better left twirling off of shot glasses than ear drums

Here we are
Guys with hearts of gold,
Sought after like they were made of diamonds
used like iron to build bridges out of our patience,
left to rust once bridges have been crossed,
How quickly brilliance is forgotten
Well trodden is the kindness we so wish we could bury so you might finally appreciate when our beauty sprouts from hardened earth instead of just being there.

You know what we wish was just there?
A Well trodden, hardened body, with biceps as unrealistic as the girls you see on TV
Drastic as the plastic surgeries
Murdering our metabolism
For our own eyes as much as yours
We so wish we weren't the last to get their first chest hairs
Maybe then parties wouldn't mean having to talk to the" are you gay?"s
Who remind us that at least we've come a long way from highschool
Where people used to just assume
With words like fists
That left bruises all the same
And yet I can't tell what is worse
These fists or being set up on dates
That I never wanted
And never asked for

11 days into my first year of college
3 in the morning over spirits and stories I was asked
"So are you gonna ask that guy out?"
my car out of gas from adventures with friends
I was supposed to sleep on her floor
And so i slept on the floor
of the halls common room
I was kicked out at 3:45 and it was raining
I didn't realize there was a wrong answer to that question
The next morning I Texted her and asked if she spelt friendship different than I did

But guys can deal with their own **** right?
And being nice is its own reward right?
I've learned to be grateful for being needed, havent i?

This is the world where I will never not be the nice guy you have been warned about,
You've been warned about every side, angle, shape and size of me
Before I've even opened my mouth
Warned that if you jump the fire pit you'll be burned
Warned not to jump the rose Bush in the garden
But everyone seems to remember trying to jump the fire pit
No one remembers jumping the rosebushes, because no one jumped the rosebushes
And we are patiently waiting, budding while we watch the fires
Be watered

But on the hundredth time one is told to wait for the silver lining rainfall, to wait our turn, soft hearts hardly remain soft but instead harden into a pulsating mesh of muscles tired of beating for other hearts who feed off our blood and give none back
We do it so we know the blood is going somewhere worthwhile, besides our extremities
Just so these two feet might walk a one way street that is so ******* lonely
Josh Koepp Oct 2014
Lemon drops melt like
Pennies on the tongue
They sting the sores in your mouth
You've dropped dollars
on each-
One too many young entrepreneurs
Told to sell citrus sores on street corners
Cause cars to slow-stop, smile
And remember:
Our duty is to make the change jar jingle
With Coppernickel piles
Of tender value; fifty cents of winking
Creased faces tumbling
In plastic cups
Talking of irony,
Per stinging sore.
Coppernickle smiles underneath your shoe
They've certainly owned slaves before-
You
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