A Collection of Poems by JW Burns

Laughter ruins the water, it really does.
Recognize love and you’ll sit all day scheming,
hands almost unemployed, the conspiracy
rocks make with the sky too much
eternity for a floating riverbank.
Hooks roast while we waste our lives,
blind searches balancing guesswork
with neural voodoo; windy ferrule
keeping the cold blood moving, flowing
subconsciously over the long useless past.
You decide the fish are afraid. You
pound the water splintering their fear,
concoct an everlasting bluff, empty
sleep just enough to welcome a struggle
pulling grandiose organs from a corpse.


Elevator shaft where the string quartet lived and worked;

swallowed and making the best of it.

On old days when I return light keeps flagrant promises

in wet folds, newsprint parts the meaning of love.

You forgive each tiny miracle,

stale coffee poking a hole in a stray cup.

I follow your bottom to the top of winding stairs;

sheets run like blue fish.

Naked, we step together around pine trees, prying

into the walls, the music forgetting to breathe.

Never faithful, the sky beyond the window

survives in a different way.




The mail today

includes an offer to be cremated

so for a few overlapping heartbeats

you are able to eavesdrop on your ashes

clout bathed in bamboozling timeworn flames

Last Friday it was Save The Date

always a hoot when they stand in a bit of forest

alone together for public service eternity

her face densely printing ego diathermy

his deadpan joy

                                           Remember us

indefinitely pure



JW Burns lives in Florida. recent work has appeared in Rialto, Corvus Review and Adlaide.