Emily Toder

Poor Boy



I’m not discouraged by joy

Ebullience’s all around I still keep my head up

When you jay walk skipping I’m ecstatic

I like when you talk your way into free gum

You check overweight shit no extra charge I don’t care

The sun never scorches you, you grow toasty, it doesn’t hurt

I don’t care you’re gold

I don’t care all the women along the banister, tiny and old

I can’t see the lion in the sky or the belt

All I think about is luck

Today I saw a boy with a bullet-proof backpack

on the subway

always two steps behind his mom

and I thought this is so useless

this walking on or under

this earth behind this kid

feeling weak but still rush-hour walking

eventually to my home

Finally I found drugs around the corner from where I live

and when I took them

I had the same thoughts

all over again, yes,

even now I’m having them:

the lunacy of my deliveranceless rushing

my soles dissolving in the stupid violence,

my wits gone

drunk from gender and sexuality

and gone from aging,

gone naturally, from living

Julia Collins



I love Julia Collins so much I bought DVR

I love her miniscule wagers despite her genius

and despite collective experience

Also I love all her sweaters

each one so unique and sensible


On the 14th day of her winning streak

Alex asked her what her expectations

had been, and she answered humbly

nothing, but I wish she’d used the opportunity

to ask: What is: Nothing?


The day before, she gave a shout out

to her kindergarten teacher who apparently

never heard her speak,

projecting, probably accurately,

that teacher’s pride now

in that teacher’s self-concept

to that teacher in that teacher’s

quaint home


EMILY TODER’s second collection, Beachy Head, is just out from Coconut Books. She’s also the author of Science (Coconut) and the chapbooks No Land  (Brave Men), Brushes With (Tarpaulin Sky), and I Hear a Boat (Duets). She was born and lives and works in New York.