Monday, January 2, 2023



The jails, they’re full of prisoners. Why are they full of prisoners? 

Because everyone’s doing drugs or selling them. Why is everyone doing 

drugs or selling them? Because they’re bored and desperate. Why are 

they bored and desperate? Because they have no work. Why don’t they 

have work? Because the jobs went away. Why did the jobs go away? 

Because the bosses put in robots. Why did the bosses put in robots? 

Because robots don’t ask questions. Why don’t robots ask questions? 

Because they don’t have minds. Why don’t they have minds? Because 

the scientists haven’t gotten that far. Why haven’t the scientists gotten 

that far? Because the government won’t fund them. Why won’t the 

government fund them? Because they’re funding the army. Why are 

they funding the army? So we can fight. Why should we fight? Because 

we have enemies. Why do we have enemies? Because we’re always 

interfering. Why are we interfering? Because we’re better than they are. 

Why are we better than they are? Because we’re free. Why are we free? 

Because we waged a war to worship our own gods. Why did we wage a 

war to worship our own gods? Because we felt oppressed. Why did we 

feel oppressed? Because they put us in the jails.


Lauren K. Watel's poetry, fiction, essays and translations have appeared in 

The Paris Review, The Nation, Narrative, Tin House, Antioch Review, 

TriQuarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Slate, Colorado Review, 

Birmingham Poetry Review, Poetry International, Ploughshares, and the 

Collected Poems of Marcel Proust, among others. She was awarded a visiting 

artist residency at the American Academy in Rome as well as a Distinguished 

Fellowship at Hambidge Art Center. Her work has also won awards from Poets 

and Writers, Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation and Mississippi Review

Her prose poem "The House She Lived In" honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

was set to music by Pulitzer-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and 

premiered at the Dallas Symphony


We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an 
opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of 
poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors 
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to 
hear it.

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