Poems: Joe Hall

Illo for Joe Hall's poems.

Getzville 2024 V.1

The beaches of New England are thick with giant, oily balls
of fear and shame that bloom into shaved men
whose elbows jut as they scream with conch shells
hoisted against each ear.

Getzville 2024 V.2

In Oakland an Amazon drone
delivers a court order
to the God of Love
bent over their kitchen table
with a tube of glue, a cane
and its cracked rubber stopper.

Buffalo 2020

I am too drunk.
I Uber myself,

swipe left
and leave a 2 star rating.

If gas is cheaper
than milk,

Buffalo 2017

After the vomit-cast
we only think in hammers.
Though I’d rather burn
every dollar than give
one to the police, we
agree on our dirt
and how it will unfold.
Now Judith is dressed as trauma.

The Moon, 2025

The trial of former president Bonelord drags on
as the moon is eaten by drills
and a woman with the suction marks
of a respirator outlining her mouth sits
with her cough on the edge of the tub,
the gray dust circling the drain, wonders
whether to call it “Black Lung.” My stream
has strayed within the arteries
of this vastness. You buy a phone card in a 7-11
by a Mississippi grossly muscled
with barges of food burned to gas. In your hour of need
your nephew will stop mumbling for dollars.
He’ll wait for the bus. He’ll deal with your kids.
You’ll consider it a minor miracle.
Whatever that means.
Joe Hall is the author of two books of poetry from Black Ocean Press, a member of the publishing collective Hostile Books, and a researcher for Justice for Migrant Families of Western New York. His next book, Someone Utopia, will be published in spring 2018.

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