Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

The magnetic poetry book

I got the journal pictured above on a high school trip to Berkeley. We were the Model UN delegation to North Korea. Our only moment of glory was an attempt to induce the East Bloc countries to take back Western Europe.

In bitter defeat, we ate Indian food, enjoyed the spectacle of a drunk guy screaming in the face of a street corner preacher, and bought all manner of trinkets from street vendors.

This journal came from a purveyor of Ethiopian goods, his wares spread out on a blanket on the sidewalk along University Ave. I bought it along with a pendant of the Ehtiopian symbol for peace.

The journal stayed unused until college where it was reborn as The Magnetic Poetry Book. I had been given a magnetic poetry set as part of a care package and we spent many evenings making absurd and perverted poems.

I squish a thousand puppies with my bare hands. Like Susan, they did not love me. -(in the style of one of Susan’s would-be suitors)

Beneath a sea of legs lies you, drunk with love, moaning and sweaty, the goddess of his bed. panting you ache and shake robbing the essential light of lost seas.

Your raw winter hair felt like a thousand chocolate deaths. Recall panting, light sweating and legs.

I shake and love you, the goddess of my winter, the smooth beauty in my bed.

Like I said, perverted, but poetic.