Poetry from J.K. Durick

Back Roads

What do we do when the day stalls out

on a back road, one you don’t at first

recognize, as if this hasn’t happened

before, but it has, and you know what

comes next. You open the hood on your

life and begin to tinker with what you

find, as if there is a simple fix to all this.

Perhaps your battery needs charging or

maybe it’s a matter of choosing the right

things to jiggle and swear at. Perhaps it’s

a matter of attitude or personal mindset,

the way you’ve been handling the day to

day. Back roads become destinations if

we let things get beyond us. Perhaps all

this stalling out is nothing more than what

happens when we slow down too much

and assume that there’s something wrong

with everything around us. It’s easy to have

things turn out not the way we wanted them.

Like now our days dress the same, and say

much the same things when questioned.

An afternoon can spend itself dealing with

the sameness of sameness, trying to buy

its way out with promises that the next time

the time will be consumed in trying to find

things that fit – and fit in with the things we

hope cover the monotony, the repetitiveness

the dull consistency that leaves us out here

stalled out on this crumbling back road.


 Reading to Myself

Halfway through

I lost my way

In his poem

Became lost

In the words

A dark forest

To stumble through

A tilt of the page

And there I was

By myself

Whispering to myself

About how often

This happened

A bit of bad eyesight

If I were lucky

Or something more

Something dangerous

An unavoidable lapse


Or something permanent

Forever lost

In a maze of my own

Stuck in this labyrinth

Of my own making

Forever lost

In someone else’s poem

Halfway through

I may be here

From now on.


               Terrorism TV

We’re learning about terrorism from

The best of ’em, the worst of ‘em

Isis, Hezbollah, and Hamas, the better

Known groups, and those smaller ones

And individuals who often claim

Responsibility for some attack, explosion

Or the assassination of some political figure

Anything to get to be part of the news on

Our various news networks, claim it and

Get the fame, the recognition they need in

The terrorist game. We watch it go on

24 hours a day, yesterday, last night, this morning.

It’s like an out of control weed, a pandemic,

A bit of climate change that is drying us out

Leaving us the shell of our former selves.

Now we have become students of death, in its

Various forms, destruction for its own sake.

We’ve become helpless talking heads that

Are watching the world come apart, and we

Are terrorizing ourselves with it.

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