New Values

Winter, 2016–2017 / No. 38

The fire was once a field.

The new world order

once the new world,

old gods tapping the glass

like drunks pausing

to feel the panes kick.

Here’s a new one:

what do you call a man

who falls over while

unwrapping a lozenge?


The kind of parent

who’d set fire to a summer

drive, tell their kids

to get out of the car

and walk. When the curb

has overtaken the road,

those left join the traffic

that ran them aground.

I’d like to help, but I’m too

busy protecting myself.

Jim Johnstone is a poet, editor, and critic. His latest books are The Essential D. G. Jones and Dog Ear. Recently, he won Poetry’s Editors Prize for Book Reviewing. Last updated winter, 2016–2017.