“the soul is money, privatize the soul”—army

reserve billboard: psyche equals birds on fire—

Ativan in my hand—steal the water, steal

the land—how liberal are “we”—why does the

sky smell—my eyes don’t fit—smear your

trailer—sleep like fire—human heads loose

balloons—as if there were no rules and

dreams were safe—


leaves and moon, dead again: we’re

camping in the backyard (that’s the

dream)—“the United States Navy, a

global force for good”—prisoner citizen—

can’t breathe my greed—dairy farms,

heroin—America’s Horror Theme Park—

Spooky World:


“work was my salvation, work was

always my salvation”: you drink your

drink two days before you die: eyes like

rain eyes like rain smile like rain:

everyone’s turning to God, everyone’s

begging for time: the garden made

unknowing by the snow: “work was my

salvation, work was always my


Joseph Lease’s critically acclaimed books of poetry include The Body Ghost (Coffee House Press, forthcoming), Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011), and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease’s poems “‘Broken World’ (For James Assatly)” and “Send My Roots Rain” were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (Paul Hoover, Editor, Norton). “‘Broken World’ (For James Assatly)” was also anthologized in The Best American Poetry (Robert Creeley, Guest Editor, Scribner).