Janky Mojo

By Terry Wolverton

Poem

I came in with janky mojo,
head peppered with hard thoughts,
face painted with Kaiju’s blood,
skeleton in a spooky suit.

Who was that vampire in a red cape,
its song tracing through my pulse,
heckling my impatient choices,
talking shit about God?

When did I become a cold machine
that breathes frost and coughs dust?
My bone cage jumps
in the attic of my disappointment.

Lorca too was disappointed
in the magpie’s quick-like song.
My appendages cannot climb
to any honey pulse to fix it.

But egomaniacs love religion,
think it’s all about them.
Gods dance like insects in my head,
and cup my red-eyed soul.

End-times only a strobe-lit
boogeyman, just enough horror
that sometimes I look side-eye
through the flapping trees.

In the end, my fluid roots
the only curative to bottoming out.
I came in abuzz with janky mojo
and no hoodoo gonna take it back.

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TERRY WOLVERTON is author of eleven books of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, including Embers, a novel in poems, and Insurgent Muse: art and life at the Woman’s Building, a memoir. Her most recent poetry collection is Ruin Porn. In 2017, Terry conducted an experimental poetry project, “dis•articulations 2017,” collaborating with a different Los Angeles poet each month to create new works; the results were published at Entropy Magazine. She has also edited fourteen literary compilations, including the Lambda Award winning His: brilliant new fiction by gay men and Hers: brilliant new fiction by lesbians. Terry also collaborated with composer David Ornette Cherry to adapt Embers as a jazz opera. Terry has received a COLA Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles, a Fellowship in Poetry from the California Arts Council, and the Judy Grahn Award from the Publishing Triangle, among other honors. She is the founder of Writers At Work, a creative writing studio in Los Angeles, and Affiliate Faculty in the MFA Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles. She is also an instructor of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation.

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