Justin Evans Poetry
Though I was not born or raised in the South, I have lived in Georgia, Texas, and in North Carolina, while I was in the U.S. Army. I may not know much, but I know enough to never refer to the “South” as a single homogeneous geographic location. I map places by the food I eat, and each of the places I mentioned are dominated by their own food memories, and none have anything to do with grits.
Some Day This Demon Will Leave My Body
Who wants to live forever? Who wants to
go on, knowing nothing foreign remains?
There’s always a new dance to learn, some new
herky-jerky music calling my name. And who
is to say one music is better than another, one
outlandish folk song and dance routine more
important than the last? Who is to say one step
or twist of the hips is more elegant or sensual?
When even willpower has faded, I will
look back on this time as sacred, and no doubt
there will be lingering whispers. They will be
the last sounds I will hear before I die.
Some Day This Bee Colony Will Collapse
Entropy is my middle name. No, it’s the credo
I have grown to love over the years, watching
the past as it becomes the past― the thing
everyone romanticizes instead of remembers.
Every night my dreams become shorter, each
folding on the seams of the last. My mother says
déjà vu is made like this, and all our futures
are simply dreams we cannot remember just yet.
Some Day the Tin Man Will Sing the Blues Again
We all know what is going to happen in the future,
we just pretend to not know. It’s easier than
walking with courage into the startling splendor
of our own destruction, with a calm sometimes
foretold in dystopian novels. Our daily calm is
more anesthesia these days, but some day it will be
a genetic boon we pass on to our children. This,
not our deaths is why we feign ignorance, pretend
a need for prognostication. If I wanted, I could
tell you everything about how I will die, but then
I would be forced to admit in many ways I have
already died, given myself over to the void.
Some Day Somebody Will Invent a New Form of ESP
I seem to lose each day almost as fast
as I recognize it for what it was, the sun
goes down and before I know it, I am asleep
dreaming of (and this is where I may
lose you), night. Yes, I know it’s strange
to realize this is the extent of my imagination
but I hope that is forgiveness in your eyes,
not flame. There is more than enough of that
to go around each time I wake with no memory.
Some Day the Human Heart Will Be the Only Manifesto We Need
When I was a child I believed riding the tilt-a-whirl
was akin to dancing with the devil. The sickness
I felt walking home after spending my entire allowance
at the carnival, some strange penance for my sins.
The fire inside my brain would keep me from sleep
the entire summer, make all my wishes evaporate
with the thought of a single kiss; for the symmetry
of what I imagined my friends already knew.
I knew nothing of how the human body sheds
all its cells every seven years or how the world
is bon again every seven days. I did not know
the war waiting for me on the other side of childhood.