Mike Young




The Man Alone at Cumberland Farms the Other Night Who Bought Milano Cookies With a $20 Bill

Will he read this? Are you warm yet?
If he doesn't, will you tie me to a
sheepdog who will never brag that he's
"people watching, you know. I don't get
bored: I'm a people watcher." Wrong.
In 1954, the last documented case of
"real people" buried a milkshake recipe
and two coupons for used boxing gloves
outside Sparks, Nevada. Don't have a fit.
No points to win from me, I'm afraid.
I'm so afraid of overdoing it, always.
Like this, this is just for more friends.
Ten to my keychain, six to my Rub List.
We'll raid something. Grade movies. Bowl.
Chuck carrier pigeons down the tunnel:
"Hi! Hi back! Hi back back! Yum, the
sun is a little jealous. He's not a
secret, like our handshake spark."
You're my friend because you're not
"I'm a person"—this and "I'm real"—that.
You'll never demand I check you for lumps
or call me on behalf of some hallelujah
screw. You'll never stuff a prairie dog
in my freezer with a note: LUV U MIKE!!!
This army of ours, this army of ours.
I know what you're thinking and yes,
you can. Step one: Is it dawn yet?
Is that chocolate? Are you cold?



Oh No: That's So Cool

‘Oh, to be in Los Angeles, and not have a car!’ —
Nancy Wang, from Jordaan Mason’s Facebook wall

Yet I still can't believe how strange to be
anything: how strange to be oranges, ReMax,
line splitters, all the overcooked tomatoes.
Who ganked their metaphors from commercials?
Not me. How strange to be easy to follow!
You wake up one day and there is a city
named after you. Let me see your to-do list.
How strange this intermission music or giving
in. To be the last olive, the first biplane.
I want to reincarnate as a bad Bright Eyes song:
the same people will like me or not like me, I
think. Death: your candygram is here from Sure.
How strange the scout ant, the stranger with
news, the rotunda and the racist joke. Well,
bold! It's bold to unify any of it, and if you
can, that's good. That's pretty good. That's
okay. How strange to think about the painting
done. Will it be? How many the bees. How often
the seat outgrown. How lazy the drain. You
know something I don't, I bet. I bet. I throw
in and take from and try through and need even
you, rushing off with a bucket of something,
with that haircut I will like but never get.




We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough

No, I am not out to start a smear campaign.
For you who you are and stuff you're good,
ripcord! When I grow up, I want to be
patience, an asterisk, or the kitchen when
"I'm not trying to be an ass but honestly"
is frying and frying his cardigan to chase the
New Real. Us mood thieves, weren't we
not invited? Why are we going off about
snot bouts, hey ho, no way, the sigh dial,
like the first rule of polite company is
don't talk about polite company. I really
hate it here, which is such a stretch.
Strong feelings, I mean. I never got
buzzed in to those. I take a Z-shaped
fire escape up to the hospital of feeling.
What an anti-ripcord sort of beauty that Z!
And I stroll on up whenever it is I consider
you. For some reason, right now, I want to
love you in what they're saying is orange
and endless, honestly. Shrug. How's it feel
to weigh that much in news? Orange and
endless. That's good for what it is, I
guess. If you're sure you are, I trust you.