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Pocket Karma

February 23, 2009

Pocket Karma

It’s amazing to me, sometimes, looking back, exactly how much brass we can posess before we reach 30.

This was a Christmas present to friends when I was 27. I had been a Webmonkey for not much longer than a year, and was still in “I’m in retail and can do any weird art stuff I want” mode, not really realizing how much real art and design talent was surrounding me.

I’m still surprised I created a colophon, and was brash enough to create a ‘small press’ for myself. The ‘small press’ was run out of Kinko’s. (The name Chased by Dogs was cribbed from an earlier attempt in high school to self-publish a comic book with an artist friend. We got three issues out before we called it quits. I still have the originals, and if I ever get around to it, may post them here.)

This really was an attempt at getting back to writing after a long hiatus. I really should’ve been getting back to chasing girls. But that’s a whole other story.

Along with a lot of bad haiku, there were a few poems and an experiment in producing one-sentence poems exactly 14 syllables long (the idea and title “14 syllables to contain a thought so small it keeps” is from a book of the same title from a wonderful Chicago writer/artist duo who produced beautiful chapbooks). The haiku marks my ‘Kerouac period,’ where being a beatnik was pretty much all I wanted to do and all I could afford. If I had a license (and a car, and insurance, and gas) I would’ve been in New Mexico faster than you could say Georgia O’Keefe. I admit that this dream to stop one state short of California would’ve made me a very untraditional beat.

I am particularly proud of Sweater, which I still think stands up, along with a few haiku.

I don’t even have a properly formatted digital copy anymore, just a badly-mangled Word 95 document to salvage text from.

Now that Henry has the writing bug, and I can finally get to boxes of old stuff I couldn’t before, I’m finding remnants of earlier dreams myself. It’s an odd moment, but if you look at it in a certain way, most of life is like that.

For historical interest (if any exists), here is the complete text (minus some quotes and additional copyrighted material I can’t reproduce here, and a few minor corrections) of Pocket Karma, my 1997 gift to friends and family.


Pocket Karma

Poetry by Jeff Wyonch
Published by Chased by Dogs Publishing

Copyright 1997 Jeff Wyonch.

Printed in Canada

This book is set in Garamond. Cover printed on Globalserve Recycled stock, interior printed on Strathmore 500 series Calligraphy stock.

I hate Christmas. It is, perhaps, the most depressing, distressing time of year I can imagine. I hate snow. I hate mistletoe. I hate relatives. I’d rather be folding road maps.

This holiday sucks.

All these pieces were written around the last month or so. They are my attempt to get back in the saddle, so to speak, and get writing again. They are marked by own personal sense of neurotic, worrying frenzy and craziness. They are also experiments, dabblings, rough sketches, polished stones, and fragments. I hope you like them.

I’ve tried in this collection, to be lighter and more positive. I know, with me it is a constant challenge.

I hope these pieces make it into the hands of those that will find at least one piece of interest, of pleasure, or maybe even to cherish.

Thanks for being along for the ride. Merry Christmas all, and to all a good night.

Jeffery Wyonch

To my friends.

Feel the breeze tighten
Waiting in the grass, quiet,
For me to hasten

Music escaping
Notes glistening in the dew
Summer surrounds me

She crosses her legs
Morning train fills with people
Her smoky eyes yawn

The meadow in autumn
Russet, sepia and tan;
Petals like snowflakes

I pad through the room
Her breathing is beside me
Quiet surrounds us

Oil slick rainbows
Slanting like gold off old cars
I can feel the warmth

Summer in her voice
I bend to her neck and inhale
Book-dust perfume

Waiting for insight
The halls echo with learning
We gain nothing new

The park lost in night
The runner pacing his fears
Never losing them

Alcohol dreaming
Hazy bottles, smoky bar,
Spinning darkness blues

Library at night
The caretaker in the dark;
He reads, dust gathers

Our lives will fan out
Like origami paper
Folded together

Spinning in snowfall
Breath streaming far and away;
Laughter goes with it

The dreams of summer
Shimmer in the glare of ice
A happy mirage

Let it snow outside
I am here in your room now;
The hearth warms us both.

14 syllables to contain a thought so small it keeps

Wrapped in a blanket, with mug and an old book; that’s all.

Old summer smells carried across winter by a young breeze.

The paper folds back, sheet after sheet; anticipation.

The sound of rain pours out over my mind in drops of gray.

The glow of shadows sends dancing sparks over glass and stone.

She holds the pen, uncertain, to her lips; a moment lost.

A Writer

A writer is a pen inking its way across the white clouds of a page. The margin veers up. The pen cartwheels away.


When you get up in the morning you try to forget but then you feel his arms wrap around you like an old sweater you used to like wearing at night.


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