poems by David Tomaloff

“sit _still, train {I’m try _ing to philanthropy}


I had five, I gave you twelve

she had six, and gave you shrapnel

they had wood and carved you a faculty

you smashed it on the rocks

you gave me turquoise; I didn’t exist that

she said they vaulted; I didn’t hear that

the crowd picked honey; I didn’t care for it

I called you honey; the piano teased me for it

the mill turned only; the pine had double for it


you know I was born

and I gave you that

you knew I was illiterate

and I sold you that

I knew you were mescal powder;

you provided a sea exchange

I knew you said something

so I pillaged the sharp darkened there

the swimming went sour

so the New York Times

divided six from there

I subscribed and went blind

from stocking sex in there

less drivel, more punk

public bathroom there

falls are a mish mashed

way to say anything nicely

still I slow as I turn and

you never asked for it back

I dared you to, though—

you have to give me that



-alt er  :ed


Redondo,          a  so ft Dakota;

l  if  ted,            l  if  ting,           f it  ted,

and  fit  -ing.


send me            an    Am  /er  i  ca

saf er  to

th e  touch.



England  be       _gets  New;

Virginia,            bro ken lad  der

by th e seas ide_


paper airplane s               from a fire escape

  in  Jersey  City  Heights.



Arabi to Gary,   Chica go  blue and

“we-don’t-see-nothin” shot up in

co ffee  shops,


con  do mini  um            glut

and   ho  me_                of   t he brave.



Your burned Chevrolet,

signal  fl are, an d  budding


 drunk  act r [esses_

empire (-ing)


soft for the camera

_)when turn (-ing) away.



photo by Amber Jarvis