Working Song
A poem by Joshua Kochis


After Mark Levine

Jack. Look. It’s morning.
I grab the clock from my ear, sand
from my pocket. I am a mirror, a two-way
lazy susan. I spin on my nose and walk
in circles. I see myself become a moon.
I am a lens, I am convex. I magnify, concentrate
light rays like old friends, pull their hairs
through the head of a pin, one at a time.

Say hello, Jack, nose full of tobacco
and lint. I live just south of the frost line.
I tell elaborate lies
for cash. If you catch
me in a good mood, I might crack
two eggs over easy. I also sing
and dance, but slow. When I see
a stop sign, I tie
my limbs together. It’s easy

for Jack,
digger of mad holes and tunnels,
scratch his feet with a hammer.
Talks to plants about the weather.
Smells like television and seems
to have it all down. A trick
of the light. I’m this close
to finding out. We find out
when we break –
I run around telling folks
to have a seat. I bisect,
whistle, throw dirt
at the crowd’s feet. bow
deeply and spit
shine yr shoes. How

do you do, I am not a pen.
I am dry. I can’t
stand still. Itch
my head til it burns. I shed
my fur in the summer.
I am the 8-ball
on the lip of the corn hole.
I am an easy win.
The light approaches and I
become the earth. I spin
on my axis, elongate
into an oval, careen forever.

Some say I am just
another open gutter.
I call myself the phantom limb.
Cus round here, you make
the biggest bang
for yr buck by standing
upside down.


Joshua Alexander Kochis grew up in the suburban forests of Southeast Michigan. He has always had busy hands. He received his BFA from the Penny Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan in 2015, where he focused in painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation, and creative writing. He is inspired by the forms and textures of nature and can often be found wandering in the woods, climbing trees and digging things up from the ground. His practice is focused on creating images, objects, and installations in collaboration with the natural world. Joshua is currently living and working in Detroit, Michigan. Visit my website or follow me on Instagram.

Email me: jakvista1@gmail.com