4 Poems


an app that sends a single notification that God exists

an app that sends the red balloon emoji to everyone you love the moment you die

an app that alerts you when you're contributing to circumstances you don't like

an app that notifies you when you say something your parents said at your age

an app that allows you to see yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you

an app that tells you exactly what to do under any circumstance

an app that wakes you to tell you another user’s dreams

a subscription-based application that won’t open until you’re a good person

a $0.99 app that prays for your enemies

a free app that costs you your life

an app that:

    1. lies to you
    2. notifies you for no reason
makes it impossible to use exclamation points
gives you the noblest solution to any problem
helps you make your funeral photo montage 
    6. removes you from your selfies

an app that does nothing

Shout Out

to everything
    you almost are
religion minus the people
the only mammal that googles itself
the molecules that decide they are you
who you think you love &
    what you think love is
the dark allure of
    “everything happens for a reason”
the parent you sound like when you’re angry
what a song looks like when you think about it
all the people who have died or will die while 
    “Red, Red Wine” plays softly in the background
the various things we’ve replaced religious fervor with
the collection of stories, inside jokes, 
    hair & nail follicles, shared meals, 
    disagreements, hugs, brilliance, 
    ineptitudes & craven flesh you’re married to
happiness masquerading as the pursuit of itself
the unnameable shapes & feelings 
    that are way more familiar than 
    what you see when your eyes are open
how unimaginable mental illness is to
    people who don't have it
things depression pretends to be about
the mathematical improbability of
    anything happening
sins before they’re committed
rock stars out of context
YouTubers after the apocalypse
population density & self-harm
the joy of anyone 15,000 years ago
lack of power workarounds
the four walls of freedom
post orbital remorse
whatever we're supposed to be doing
things that are
impossible to say
things that don’t exist
& things that do
before or after


you: great

narrator: it’s not

them: keep it real

narrator: he couldn't

you: fingers crossed

narrator: they weren’t

them: it’s all good

narrator: it wasn’t


an endless &
permanent toyotathon

witnessed by a
mesmerizing windsock man

not your father or
your mother’s toyotathon but

a private toyotathon
for one

the great toyotathon
in the sky

a grand toyotathon

the sales event
of the year

the deal
of a lifetime

Jason Sebastian Russo is a writer, composer, and artist based in Brooklyn and central New York state. His work appears in The Nervous Breakdown, Hobart, New World Writing, and beyond. He has toured and recorded with Mercury Rev, Pete International Airport, and Hopewell, among others.

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