Category Archives: Poems from The Valley

Ode to every street person who ever fucked me

Published / by J.M. Littenberg / Leave a Comment


You, who hoping to find the answer,
went to the doctor asking,
“What is the secret to not getting hung up on my interpretation of the reaction of other algorithms
to the waves that reflect off the particles
attracted to this one?”
And were spoken to in measured tones instead,
of gratitude lists and good works,
dragged down to Earth with cognitive-behavioral-therapy
and bracket drugs to man the barricades
this is not the way

Humanity is the medium in which we exist
Humanity is the beehive on which we trip
Humanity is of many minds
Humanity likes to repeat itself
Humanity is thicker than water
Humanity is kind of slow
Humanity didn’t make the rules
Humanity is just doing their job
Humanity’s making the omelets
it’s nothing personal
Humanity probably doesn’t even know we exist
Humanity is interested in the bottom line
Humanity isn’t made out of cash
Humanity is behind on the rent
Humanity sewed our clothes
Humanity protects me from the full force of your wrath

You, who are part of the monster they created
to chew up the evolutionary vanguard
and shit our broken bones out on the sidewalk for example
Why can’t you see?
We are made of broken bones
We are golem


Published / by J.M. Littenberg / Leave a Comment

I scrub my skin red raw,
scalding water drawing blood.
I try to lose myself, let it all flow down the drain,
but am held in place by the sticky remains of carefully laid plans.

I indulge in a momentary fantasy of death and rebirth,
immersed in a stream of holy, transformative water,
that which holds me back and apart melts away,
from what remains is fashioned
“It is getting late and down this road lies grave danger.”
Time to turn off the water and face this body,
this miracle of modern medicine,
this compromise.

Not bad considering…
always considering,
distraction or oblivion the only shelter from those merciless eyes,
always watching;
watching now as steam clears from the mirror.

Half hidden between layered cloth and paint,
she obsesses over her face,
knowing the brightest light casts the darkest shadows.
The haunt of ancient fears
writ in chromosome,
rubbed at far too late,
etched in flesh and bone.

This is the kind of anger that falls like gravity

Published / by J.M. Littenberg / Leave a Comment

This is the type of anger that falls like gravity,
your lungs shaking, gasping,
burning the back of your throat,
dripping off your face, hitting the floor

this is the kind of anger that doesn’t
let you sleep,
up all night
doing drugs

This is the kind of anger that hates your friends

This is the kind of anger that tears into your flesh,
razor blade smooth,
pressed down hard at the back

This is the kind of anger that wants to make you sick,
the kind of anger that gives you cancer

This is the kind of anger that’s dying to burn it all,

to feel the heat of the flames, hear the screams, taste the ash

This is bad violence,
this is shaking

This is the kind of anger that took so many friends, full of hope
And left a city littered with empty clockwork ghosts
. . .
This is the kind of anger you wouldn’t understand