A tarantula of piss crawled around inside
His bladder, waking him up
Is how the story started

He grabbed his phone to screenshot 
A dream image just upon waking, unthinking
(Patricia Lockwood saying the phone’s contents
More real than the world’s)

Much later he was given a Jackson Pollock
To forge into another painting — is he up to it?

Imagining something is a hyperlink when it isn’t 
Is playing the devil’s kickball
No one calls them “hyperlinks” anymore by the way
Is what his apprentice told him

Once the brooms got put away

And don’t pester the online Nadja anymore
For the rest of the century
You are not Breton


Little terrorist kid, destroys a floor, misbehaves.
Dances crazily with drumsticks in front 
of a video composite of another child,
trying to blot her out. 

Going to check on a musty P.O. Box 
at a college campus I once attended, 
I forgot the number but anyway they gave it to me, 
there’s a poem wrapped in plastic inside.
I must have put it there during the pandemic year. 
Can’t remember what the poem was about. 
But the script was interesting, you could place it 
in time by comparing orthographic marks

with my other written drafts from other eras. 
Letters with ligatures alike,
like Arabic calligraphy.
The handwriting analyst tells entrance tales.

The storyline hovered on the edge 
of significance but I got the feeling 
once the exit was reached, 
a clarifying shockwave would be sent 

backwards through the mystery narrative. 
But no A-ha moment. No coherence bubblegum.
Can’t tell the itch from the scratch —
“And bathtub smell like electrified cum” 

JESSE HILSON is a freelance reporter living in the Catskills in New York State. His work has appeared or will appear in AZURE, Maudlin House, Rejection Letters, Pink Plastic House, Misery Tourism, Expat Press, Apocalypse Confidential, Excuse Me Mag, Bear Creek Gazette, and elsewhere. His novel Blood Trip was published in April 2022 by Close to the Bone (UK) and his poetry chapbook Handcuffing the Venus De Milo will be published by Bullshit Lit in fall 2022. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @platelet60 and he runs a Substack newsletter at

© Maximus Magazine 2022

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