Jon Ruseski



I believe

In things

In Edward Scisshorhands

The Avon Lady


Those are your hands?

What happened to you?

I won’t hurt you

But at the very least

Let me give you

A good astringent...

At dinner

Edward can’t hold a fork

Darn this stuff

The Avon Lady says

Virgil says

Fortune favors

The brave

History sucks

This morning

I cracked a bowl

On the back porch

Cleaning out

The ash inside

Thinking about

Starting fresh

The coming year


There is space

That insults

The magnitude

Of the wish

I’ve dressed

Poetry is haunted


What of it

Other than


I don’t have time

For even

A thought

Except one

Where we are just

Laughing it off

Like rich vamps

Ignoring it all



No additional text

In a scene

I’d show you everything

The deal of the day

The temptation

Of St. Anthony

So many people

Feel the need

When I think

About the argument

I want to make

On poetry

& culture

All I can arrive at

Is a stream

Of pictures

A constant turning away

So much

Can happen

From bed

I am listening to

Carla Bruni


The sentiment

Of The Rolling Stones’

“Miss You”

It feels

So real

Jagger’s hollow promises

Rendered as

Some impossibly sultry paean

To the soul’s obvious whimsy


All along

The way

The familiar

Grows sexier

When given

Unexpected restraint

& still


It’s the reveal

Poems want drama

& well

Here’s drama


Is a thirst trap

I just want to bring glamour

More into my life

Is that too much

To ask?

This is my poetry

I am just

A little thing

With a house cat sexuality

I like it brought to me

In a saucer

In a crystal champagne glass

I’m a spoiled little thing

I was a minion once


The night slaps me

With a generous uncertainty

& well,

I’m here for it

I’ve misread the past

as a kink

& kissed

My youthful ghost

Right there

In a dolphin fever

The gesture


As to betray

Desire’s fugitive grace

The brief corona

Of those who allow

The sand

Its tooth—

I always forget

Until I’m there

Jon Ruseski is the author of the chapbooks Enter Sandman, Sporting Life and Neon Clouds. He is co-editor and founder of b l u s h, an online poetry journal and publishing imprint. Recent work appears in BOMB, jubilat, and The Quarterless Review, among others.