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Michael McInnis

Varnished New World

One morning,
sometime between spring and pandemic,
before the summer came
hustling from the harbor islands,
I went for a walk down to the river
where I found a glazed chiaroscuro of discarded masks
and condoms and a pair of those black gloves I use
when I mix epoxy to fill cracks
and knots in the salvaged wood I gather
from behind dumpsters at job sites.
An east wind tugged at my uncombed hair,
long now, not because the barbers have shut,
but because if I ever see my friends again
I want to tell them I’m protesting
this varnished new world, where,
when my friends and I finally sit down
and talk behind our masks,
I won’t be able to see their smile.



Found Monologue - Color

When I do wear the mask, I’m told no one wears it better than I do. Looks good too. Blue is a complimentary color to orange. Very few know that. I know more about colors than most. Even color experts call me to ask my advice. I tell them I’m too busy. I tell them, look, it’s invisible. Color is invisible. They don’t understand, these color experts. By invisible I mean you can’t see it. But it’s coming soon. Right around the corner. I wanted some strawberries with that second helping of ice cream, but someone ate all the strawberries.

Michael McInnis was the founder of the Primal Plunge, Boston’s only bookstore dedicated to zines, underground culture, and small press literature. He is a co-founding editor and designer of Nixes Mate Review.  His third book, Secret Histories, was published by Cervená Barva Press.


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