4 Poems by Nathaniel Duggan

Happy April the 20th to you all. Whether you're celebrating Hitler's birthday or praying to the god of weed, keep in mind, you're all gutless turds to us. Those of us tied to the gears of the post-pandemic economy, we just call this day Tuesday. And whether we wind down from a long day diddling sales figures by smoking a fat bowl or carving another crude swastika into our thigh is none of your business.

But this year 4/20 is no day of utter insignificance at Joyless House, oh-ho no. Today we bring you four desperate missives from the ocean floor's greatest poet and binge-drinker. He makes twenty-something look like a forty-something watching a late night marathon of Thirtysomething while polishing off a liter of vodka he bought for nine dollars and ninety-something. Know this: even taking the nap in a bathtub full of blood, Nathaniel Duggan is a better poet than whatever leather jacket-wearing hipster you're into. Enjoy.


I’ve Seen So Much Ass on the Internet I Have Become Numb to It

Grocery store fried chicken

potato chips for breakfast

I could tell that some part

of my heart had gone rotten

but I didn’t feel like stopping


As a nation we’ve become deranged.

My brain is a perpetual gloaming

of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets

and fifteen minute coffee breaks.

Decaf, safer streets, broader coalitions,

a drone on every corner bombing:

we can harden your tears

into cysts, we can end loneliness

by building robots. I’m kept company

at 4am by alien searchlights creeping

in all the rooms I cannot see,

a million unknown tombs

in which I touch myself

futilely, my feeble masturbations,

my little lampshade necropolis.

We Need to Ban Immigration Retroactively, Such That I Can Never Be Born

A cowboy harmonica plays.

In Poland generals are executed

out of sight and in the forest.

I open another Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Office job, ossify, I think, smugly—

God I’m so smart!

I live in the spreadsheet,

within its bare cells, monk-like.

My life is a temple with steeples so tall

they pierce god, and I am

so utterly alone: after all

you need someone else’s hands

to choke.

Places to Escape

Arctic scientists discovered

a new type of suicide,

one contagious and sweeping.

I had lost interest in my own life,

and my only friend broke nightly

into the psych ward, raving

to me about oversized dolls,

doors behind mirrors leading

to more doors. It can be hard

to distinguish between places

to escape and to infiltrate.

Sometimes you have to rob

your own grave. Sometimes

you eat around

the bone.

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