Brett Jones


Hank and Waylon on the jukebox,
biting chicken wings to the bone,
crunching to the marrow, scrounge

pizza shop dumpsters and orchards,
while Willie and George are singing
songs about Wyoming, about hollers,

songs about drinking whiskey, bleached
bones of dead cattle and lost children,
dusty answers in beer-cans and car-seats.

Those who say, “I hate honky-tonk” have never been
broken down, West of Illinois or South of Kentucky.

Their ears have been tarnished,
smoking alone in crowded rooms
stuttering the importance of age.

When everyone disappears for good, fireworks
fall from the skies and fanged amoebas drink
warm marrow from our charred bones, foliage

growing at the sight of blood and death,
tomorrows bringing strangers with tails,
beards growing on sea-cucumbers, slick.


Slipped on black ice in the driveway,
rested in the cold snow for a minute,

thought about the permanence of death,
melting icicles falling to impale vampires,

majestic sadness of breath now gone.

I hate the way nights get so late,
the way fiends hate desert
stoplights at five in the morning,

headlights streaming in rear view
mirrors, ribbons strung
out on empty ironwood branches.


Brett Jones studied Creative Writing at SUNY Fredonia and currently lives in Rochester, New York. Recent work can be found in Dark Matter, Gambling The Aisle, Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, and forthcoming in Tribe Magazine. Brett also travels frequently, writes for UpstateLIVE and runs his blog,