The Garrettsville Boardwalk RSS

The Garrettsville Boardwalk

27 April, 2018: The Garrettsville Boardwalk


by Jeremy Jusek

The Garrettsville Boardwalk

The wood grain is like fingerprints,
coarse DNA of this rattlesnake town.
I know where to lift my hand
to avoid splinters.
The brick wall behind Subway,
ivy-hugged, propped our shoulders
when I— during my— that kiss.
I remember the sloppy
half-moons of her lips
like punctured tangerines.
Eagle Creek splashes bubbling
code. The finest cryptographers
could learn a thing or two
from our pickle farmers.
Under the walk, biology students
carve holes in the ecosystem
with nets and formaldehyde jars.
Minnows dart around their bare
toes. Mine have five hundred feet
to walk with nowhere to go.

“The Garrettsville Boardwalk” by Jeremy Jusek, from 2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology. Crisis Chronicles Press, 2015. Used by permission of the author.
Jeremy Jusek earned his MFA in creative writing from Arcadia University. Now he lives in Cleveland, where he runs writing workshops and freelances full time. He deliberately works from home to bask in the company of his two young kids. His first poetry collection, We Grow Tomatoes in Tiny Towns, is coming out in April 2019. Find him on Twitter and his website.


Write about something you wanted when you were 16 years old that you never got. Or write about something you wanted and got at that age but didn’t expect.

Four wheels of freedom
Many had the former
Fewer the latter
Unlikely any had both

We were 16
Some in love
And love came easier
With four wheels

I scrimped and saved
For my four wheels
I bought myself
At 17
4/29/2018 6:06:52 PM

Becky Hall
What I got but didn’t want
Or did I
The thought flickers at the edges
That maybe I did want it
But for all the wrong reasons
Like the As Seen On TV
That you simply must have but
When it arrives it isn’t at all
What you thought it was
All shiny and exciting and everyone wants one
So you pay the shipping and handling and
Wait the six-to-eight-weeks and
You unbox it and get
Cut by the cardboard and
It’s not as big and pretty as
It was on TV but now
You’re stuck with it

It wasn’t what I thought
I didn’t want it
But oh, I did
4/27/2018 10:08:03 PM

James Lawless
Neil Degrasse Tyson

If you talk science,
the way he does,
you find funny.
So, when we and all
the things that make
up matter get put through
the black holes or dark
matter, we all become
sort of sieved. He calls
its spaghettification,
you, mom, me and the tree
the rusty Buick, dad’s mean frown,
Shakespeare, Kentucky Hot Brown,
Blackie, the fork and the whole
kit and kaboodle
shrunk to one incredibly
long noodle.

Jim Lawless
April 7, 2018
4/27/2018 10:22:57 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.