Kenyatta Rogers

Usually Don't Use Google Docs

          —after Jackson Burgess

but I did read a poem where a guy said he was going to plant railroad spike in his garden.

and there was a roach staring at the beauty of a moth.

As a child X-Men taught me all kinds of new words

like Jubilation and Gambit.

As a side note ants carry their dead away from the colony

and stack the bodies as a burial ritual.

As a side note Praying Mantises can fly.

This is the moment

you roll an ankle

get a jam on the inbound play.

What are those?

Here's the stinger of a honey bee

the foot of a scorpion.

Last night I had a dream about people I wish I could see but know I can't.

We were in a house that looked like a haunted house but wasn't a house

a house that wasn't restaurant or on a prairie.

There was no Michael Landon.

At Jim Henson's funeral, Big Bird sings "It's Not Easy Being Green."

And maybe that's one of the saddest things.

Pooh Looks for Honey 

While I'm not sure where to begin here, I suppose I'll just start with anything. Because it doesn't really matter. If a tree falls in the woods and is nobody is around whether it makes a sound or doesn't matter. And I don't say these things to sound blahzah, or as if I don't care. I care about things. I enjoy telling stories. I like animals and pizza. And if a tree falls in the woods I'm completely ok with that. I mean I don't care. I mean what does it matter. How does the tree falling really affect me. I mean trees affect me, but one falling because a bear pushed it over trying to get to a bobcat. Or because ants colonized the entire body like a cancer. I'm ok with that. Completely fine.

Sometimes when I'm walking home from the pizza shop or riding my bike or I when I park my car and check the trees and signs to see if it's legal. I find out they're cutting down more trees again. And then I'll look for the dead or dying ones or dead or dying branches and notice those aren't the trees the city is cutting down. Then I care. Then I feel affected.


There's this apartment building and they cut down all the trees that surrounded the building. They were perfectly healthy and full of foliage. This bothered me. The best thing I can do is to sleep in. The workers usually come early in the morning and if I'm asleep I don't hear the chainsaws. The chainsaws don't wake me up. Not much does actually. I wake up just fine when I need to wake up. Unless I'm a little hungover which basically means to be dehydrated or I don't set an alarm, but I also sleep very heavily. I used to sleep heavier though.  

This is awkward because I'm fairly certain I have a sleep condition. I sleep, but I have a hard time falling asleep. And I wake up often. Which is weird because I said I sleep heavily, which I do, but only if I'm not already woke. And I'm woke a lot. So I do things a lot at night. I grocery shop at around 11:30, which is only because the store closes at midnight. When the store was open later I would shop at around 1:30. I consciously think to just perimeter shop, but I usually hit the aisles.  

I like sugary drinks and cereal and frozen food dinners. I like frozen food dinners mostly because I can't cook. And my parents barely cooked. I was kind of raised on them. They'd kick me out the kitchen when they did cook. My father is a cook. That's how he makes money. That's how he pays bills. Even though he doesn't pay any of them. My mother pays them. My father signs his checks over to her or they go together to the bank to cash it. She handles all the money. My pops then just looks at the receipts. I'm not sure why. I think so he feels like he has some stake in the matter.

I mean cooking . . . I mean I can make lasagna pretty good. I needed something to do so I looked up different recipes online. I needed something to distract my mind. I'm not one to stress over much, but that saying, a rolling stone gathers no moss. Well at one point I wasn't rolling. Kind of like water you let sit in a bucket outside and it doesn't rain for a couple weeks and it gets that film on the top. Something like that. Or when an old lady moves out of a house and her kids neglect to sell or rent the place. And it just sits there. Just sitting. Which is a verb, but it means to do nothing at all.  


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Author Bio

Kenyatta Rogers earned his MFA in Creative Writing Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. He is a Cave Canem fellow and has been twice awarded scholarships from the Breadloaf Writers' Conference.  He has been nominated twice for both Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes, his work has been previously published in or is forthcoming from Jubilat, Vinyl, Bat City Review, The Volta among others. He is an Associate Editor with RHINO Poetry and currently serves on the Creative Writing Faculty at The Chicago High School for the Arts.