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Sam Rasnake


     – after “Paprika Plains,” Joni Mitchell

There’s been a murder in this town. There’s always a murder in this 
There are mushrooms, a piano, and the highway – always a
highway – and
a storm – What about the storm?

     Dreams would be nothing, I’m saying, without a storm
     through it. Gives it balance – whatever “it” is.

So…you’re not worried about these killers?

     Who are you talking to? Have you thought about that at all?

Kind of scary.

     Yes, kind of scary.
     Next day

Storms here again, all night. Tiny breaks between deafening
stillness, an
all-out war on the ears. Everything. Then, nothing.

     But maybe that’s how it’s always been – a sudden fall, a hard
     No floating off, no slinking away into a supposed oblivion.

We are who we are.

     Yeah, I know. It is what it is.

What happens –

     What do you mean what happens?

What happens when we lose our link with nature?

     We’ll have no place to stand.
     My lips are sealed.

What will happen when we lose our link with the self?

     Ah, now you believe in the self? Isn’t that awkward.

I’ll just say – I’m not myself today.

     Next night

When I was a kid, I kept a radio beneath my pillow. Waves from
miles away – Judy in disguise … The day destroys the night …
darkness, my old friend… All the leaves are brown … Goo goo
g’joob …
And my world was shaped.

     Wouldn’t it have been great to have one of those mirrored
     balls in
     your room when you were young? Turning. To go with the

I would’ve never slept.

     But you didn’t sleep then anyway.

That’s true. I close my eyelids, but I don’t sleep. I look at the

     Then or now?

Always. I’m on an island, floating. I float. Sometimes I land.

     Outside, the rain is pelting the window. I don’t mean to add
     to whatever this is, but it is raining.

Of course it is. And I’m floating. Floating. Everything is smaller.
And smaller. And…




Sam Rasnake’s works have appeared in Wigleaf, Drunken Boat, UCity Review,MiPOesias, Best of the Net, Southern Poetry Anthology, A Cluster of Lights, and Bending Genres Anthology. He’s the author of Cinéma Vérité (A-Minor Press), World within the World (Cyberwit), and Like a Thread to Follow (forthcoming, Cyberwit). Follow Sam on Bluesky or Twitter @SamRasnake.


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