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Lynne Potts


Festival at Hamburg (Study for Hamburg, Iowa, U.S. Post Office mural) by William Edward Lewis Bunn

America wears a helmet when it’s learning to ride a tricycle
because so many things can happen, Bam, just like that;
it also wears dog parks and when Sunday comes the
TVs wear ball parks.

If you’ve ever been asleep when a dog barks, you know
it’s been at the mall hanging with skate boarders while
a percent of the population is down the street getting
their fingernails purple with stick-on stars.

It also wears goggles so its eyes don’t get wet
underwater, insists hair-do’s stay on the same page,
and holds power point meetings with snacks that have
tiny orange cellophane halos on sticks.

It’s a known, but little advertised, fact that America
pees behind gas stations because the door is locked,
and if you think Milk of Magnesia is a kind of soother,
don’t because it might be melted sheet rock.

For me, America is most endearing when it’s a child
wearing a pair of underpants on its head and you
can’t see its demise anywhere, even when there is
a prayer meeting about it and everybody cries.


About the writer:
More than 150 poems by Lynne Potts have appeared in Paris Review, Denver Quarterly, California Quarterly, Meridian, Southern Humanities Review, FUSION, The Literary Review, New American Writing, Broken City Review, Crazy Horse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Southern Poetry Review, American Letters and Commentary, Tampa Review, Gettysburg Review, Texas Review, Guernica, Cincinnati Review, SPEC, New Millennium Writing and numerous other journals. Her first book, PORTHOLE VIEW, and a second, MAME, SOL, AND DOG BARK were published by National Poetry Review Press. A third book, THE RELENTLESS PRONOUN, was published by the Glass Lyre Press. Selected by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a 2012 Fellow, she has also been awarded fellowships by Virginia Colony for the Creative Arts, Ragdale, and Moulin a Nef in France. She was a featured poet on WKCR and Poetry Daily—and has read her work at the KGB Bar and Poets House in New York, and at New England Poetry Club, Grolier Book Store (the original!) in Boston, and in countless other venues in both cities. Enjoy more of Lynne Potts’s work collected in a new PDF pamphlet Family Photo of America now in release from O:JA&L’s Buttonhook Press.

Image: Festival at Hamburg (Study for Hamburg, Iowa, U.S. Post Office WPA mural) by William Edward Lewis Bunn ().

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supporting writers and artists worldwide.

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