Predicting the answer before the question is the purest form of self-assurance. Patting oneself on the back is more pep talk than pride. Though a helping hand begins with vanity. Everything said in confidence has already been uttered. But so much gossip to consider, and so much world to believe in. What happens to initials carved in wooden benches when the lovers break up is the cruelest form of kismet. Even the savviest of meteorologists don’t truly know the direction of the wind. Becoming one with Mother Nature is purely due to nepotism. Knowing people in high places is rubbing shoulders with the lowest class of clouds.

Just Boring-Ass Mark Brendanawicz

The most boring characters don’t merit being written off a series by way of death. Nor does the writer owe them a shot to ride off into a green screen sunset. They leave after the first season having accepted a job offer in Scottsdale or Duluth. Playing the straight-man is the surest way to negotiate a smaller contract than the rest of the cast. Who tunes in to see the flattest version of their own personality? Even drunk, watching paint dry gets more humdrum with each successive coat. A stick in the mud stifles life emerging from the soil. Plants can’t grow without chlorophyll and a little calamity. Lions and tigers and bears combine for the quite the savage shit show. No zoo is complete without a faulty fence that’s designed to prevent a small child from falling into the lions’ pit.


Daniel Romo is the author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press, 2019), When Kerosene’s Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014), and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). His poetry can be found in The Los Angeles Review, PANK, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere. He lives, bench presses, and rides his folding bike in Long Beach, CA. More at danielromo.net.