Jess Mynes



Elders Assembly


anodyne steward made of glass

National Coney Island flying

into that hardened white-grey

miss my ham and cheese

find me where your

ending a second sentence

stirring up the sky to milking

cross atop sloshed re-buttoning

my handsome flyover scope

of variation bruised

while you were more feeling 

than most, shamefaced in celebration

reclining to dim him awake

her an ice cream day’s melting

little room in a disorienting way

suffrage long for chiseled everything 

how so? this gift for the nursing




stretch that birds go

round cottonmouth by

a world sometimes hard

to hold, husk arc

evergreen grows

blue spruce ascending

to him trying

magnetic fields and ago

listless time in cycles

without sun without shadow

our brains carefully forced

each more original

and no one thing

each by the eye now

living it in words


Minnesota Form


pinecones, the drive

cold structure implied

hurry up to as needed

bit by bit, remaining to wake to me

through exhausted roots

fragile inception, letting it pass

fluid their able being

remake the line if only

we lean on it

in order to empty

some threatening sense

irreconcilable, of the mind

directness refuting

sum accords unexplored


Littleton, NC 2010


John sent me INRI

and someone stole my Wildflowers

just for the record

I know it wasn’t you, John

pretty sure who it was

I’ll cut the selfish bastard loose.

You should see this cotton field

just budding, rolling to a wedge.

The light here in the red clay,

mockingbird in a tree

outside my bedroom window,

I don’t mind that he keeps

me awake, I read a lot,

write more, it’s

morning now and my father

greets me with a lit

cigarette, cloudless sky

where yesterday the blue was

an inky seep in otherwise clouds.

NASCAR came from bootleggers

and both my grandfathers were,

my father’s feet swollen to

twice their normal size,

now clouds in slow churning

carousel, languid, roseate.

Chimes dint picks up

bird noise in trees, but none in sky,

if only he’d have gotten

that lumberyard job and not

the younger guy, maybe none

of this would be written,

but in each of us that

troubled space maps its

way, like right now, there’s finally

a bird, a hawk, arcing into half circle

and I’m thinking soon enough I’ll

have nothing to do with this space, this

landscape and what if it plays out

one of many ways, but caught up

in that thinking is that there

is nothing you can do but be

intelligent about the present,

and realize there’s no order,

just navigation, how best

to next, to avoid future

darkness. I see the neighbor’s

garden, browned and fading,

remember his Spring

ambition, weather is

measure, its demarcations, how

its friction defines us.

Just when we think ourselves

kings and queens we end up

on our backs or faces, cursing

our luck when it’s no such thing.

It’s just what it is, without

the meaning we bring to it, indifferent

and continual. Silverado

near the clothesline,

the sign, The Mynes with pines,

I like the rhyme, or hemlock? embossed

on the shed. This morning on

a walk, someone threw

their garbage out

along the roadside:

Hardee’s cups, plastic rhino

and mastodon, etc.

right next to a deer carcass, I’m not sure

how, specifically, it relates but I

mention for the sheer

spectacle of it, that these things

enter in when we seem least capable

to allow anything else in.

I wish I had something specific and lovely

to say about how all this feels, losing

a problematic magnetic north, but

the words and thoughts seem

to only complicate any attempt

at insight or summarization, I just

know it is happening, that the weight

of it crushes me when I allow it, and

however beautiful it is to think

through the time of each moment

we’ve been allowed to share, that

it seems kind of individual and unfortunate

that I can’t make it any less so.




Jess Mynes is the author of several published works, including How's the Cows, Cannot Exist Press: and Sky Brightly Picked, Skysill Press: His One Anthem will be published by Pressed Wafer Press in 2012. He is the editor of Fewer & Further Press: and co-curator of a reading series in Western, MA, All Small Caps.