Two poems

by Jared Nownes

The Magnolia

In shadows of smashed trailer parks
Busted car graveyards
and shady loan sharks

I paid for my gas
Through bullet proof glass

Plywood fences graffiti wars
Boarded up churches and dollar stores

A hungry old dog found rotten catfish bones
Under a capsized boat on an overgrown road

A young girl plays the blues, wants to make me cry
A song about her scared hands
Pill dried eyes she’s scared to die
Scared to stay here in the delta
but too afraid to fly

Trace the bathroom floor tiles with my toe
Suitcase spilled open as the hotel room door
there’s a fog in the southern moonshine glow
If I wear my lipstick to bed dad calls me a whore

But I’m keeping the makeup on, storm horns may blow
When the Bolivar shows the bodies the painted faces will glow
Mom would want me looking pretty
When I finally make the tv shows

On the other side of town
Old Mrs. Jackson lays her husband down
Ratified the 13th so late on cotton row
Raise confederates as the soul food smokes
Keeping Cleveland as boring
As Southbound Mississippi’s flow

Give It A Name

A splendid hurricane
The high clouds racing to other borders newer days
Strange birds magnificent the color of tourists fly sideways
A bug I’ve never seen before pauses on my peonies
Innocent portents of the coming violence in the breeze
Motherless infants gifts from the stork’s beak
She swam from nightmares the unknown blackness in the sea
A question now, How strong are my trees?
This time around how brutal the wind may be
How soft the ground, your demise too many leaves.

Every place is beautiful when I first arrive
Smell the flowers a new named color is in sight
More curious than afraid
ignoring the warnings on display
Til the poison that is in me starts to taint
a warm breeze a wind chime she will say…..

“Momma is coming child there is nothing can be done”
Too soon winds are howling its allies on the front
The Foamy waves pushing pulling to and from
Feces tainted water pours into my lungs
The tentacles have stung
Sickly larvae feeding
on the bleeding
On the ankles stuck in mud

A blaring siren in my mind
A migraine in strobe lights
I’m pulled under once again
I can’t hear you in the din
The bees are swarming in the wind
My cries unheard cross my chin

In the wreckage they’ll chase blame pointing fingers
New profile pic, “Someplace strong” bumper stickers
Move on to tomorrow remember my storm by name
It’s always there, whether it’s sunny, Weather it reigns.


Jared Nownes has been writing for years but only recently started to post his pieces online as Sustantivos, on his personal blog site Also, his pieces have received warm welcome on the site


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