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>>> howdy foxhole partners <<<

tell me, what god are we praying to

so I know what jokes to avoid

tomorrow we put the stars on ice

watch them dance in limbo

until we reach a lowest common denominator

because we all need a distraction

from background outrage blaring constantly

an escape valve for growing outrage

this information superhighway is clogged up

the questions never stop

tell me, who put these people in charge?

I’m sick of the system, sick of politicians

MPs getting fat on the back of subsidised lunch

imposing right-wing think tank agendas

>>> the punditocracy has failed us <<<

a new theory suggests everything is temporary

another theory says nothing matters

because we’re all gonna die

some don’t know what to believe

they turn to religion, or self-medicate

becoming husks of their former personhood

me, i’m a daydream believer

clinging to fairy tales of escape and adventure

scuba frolics on tropical reefs

>>> cattle class package holidays <<<

the traveling public are sea elephants

fighting for the best lounger at the hotel pool

drunk on bottomless piña coladas

nobody wants eternal life

all we want is to die fat and happy

my favourite god claims we can live forever

but the pessimist in me knows

it’s total rhubarb



give me a cabin

high in the lemony pines

where i can eat steak all day

learn the banjo

show me how to whittle

i will make statues of people fucking

sell them to tourists from a roadside shack

i will sustain myself

give me a hot tub

high in the lemony pines

where i can soak my bones in champagne

they say altitude brings clarity

i will play the banjo

between bites of rare steak

i will make a statue of myself fucking

the hole in the ozone layer

<<< it will be my best seller >>>

i will ride out the next pandemic

high in the lemony pines

soaking my bones in the hot tub

the water will sustain me



i will bore this

and future generations

with tellings & boisterous retellings

i will shout it from the water tower

atop the beech-nut building

tales of near-death

tales of our esteemed hero

who avoided crushing his testicles by an inch

when the ground disappeared

vivid depictions of plummy black bruises

how they spread my thigh like blackcurrant jam

< eventually yellowing >

the stumbling tumble

that sent our esteemed hero face-planting

into the the hot tub edge

it knocked him out

he splashed into scalding water

terrycloth bathrobe soaked

< he could’ve drowned >

but the best part

is how our esteemed hero

didn’t spilled his drink



i am the cactus daddy

i keep my family in the window

o, how they thrive

this particular spot has a good angle

it gets more sunlight than you’d expect

especially in the morning

when i mist them

what is surprising

is how each cactus has its own personality

that’s probably just me

‘projecting' my humanity

onto the cacti

which is unsurprising

it’s human nature to seek connections

i am the cactus daddy

i keep the family together in the window

talk to them, watch them grow

in many ways, i’m more

a father to them than my actual children

which means I am also

kind of a prick


J. Archer Avary is a former TV weatherman. He farms cactuses in the windowsill where he writes poems and stories. He wants to finish a novel one day but lacks focus. Sometimes he goes to hot yoga, but most of the time he makes excuses not to. He was born in the USA and now lives in the Northeast of England. Twitter: @j_archer_avary.

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