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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015

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Jim Warner
Springfield, Illinois, USA


Zen Arcade

They call you golden boy because you are born from lead and have the alchemist's scar to prove it. Once you were able to close those gaps inside of you, weather patience's tested hearth by being just young and foolish. You stood on cafe tables, leather lunged. Trading eyes for stares. You were knuckles, teeth, and hardcore. You were every Joe Strummer lyric you ever heard and were wrong as often as you were loud and confident.

Black Flag summer tour
thumbing through
bargain bin records

Wisdom wraps its arms around instinct, wrestles it to the ground. Not a waltz. Not a ballad. The gaps between now and later can become a sinkhole you tend with an undertaker's optimism. Doubt breaks ground with a rusty shovelhead. Once it gets a taste for the soil in your skin, the digging can be incessant. You buried promise not like treasure but like the dead and gone.

safety pin backpatch
denim flags
cover coffins

Your first teenage kiss was all bad timing. Late August. Junior year of high school. You were a late bloomer only in action. You were close to her. A summer echoing in the stairwell of a school dorm. The slowest song in the world turned air solid. A flipbook moving frame by frame, page to promise. You both closed your eyes. In. Close. Orange tic tac breath. You parted your lips slightly. In. Close. You kissed her. On the nose. You were a crushed blush of stupid and a pale seasick numb. Until she smiled. She had grace for both of you. This was your first lesson in patience.

disassembling
record sleeves
seven inch poetry

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