“Flow Chart Without the Flow” by Jack Vian

Jack Vian


Does she know
That I know
What she said?




Does she think
I think
She’d say




Does she think
I think
It was my idea all along


To have made him choose
Whom he thinks she thinks
I think she would want


To have what she wants?




Did she always know

So that’s why
He felt safe to say
To the “No”
That was always
Meant to disturb
Her lips
As much as




[if so]
Where does that leave
except to pretend
is exactly as lonely
and silent
as only a smile
can know
the eye
to be?

from Rattle #65, Fall 2019


Jack Vian: “So often when we poets write about the art of poetry and its making, we turn to highfalutin, metaphysical, and downright supernatural psychobabble to exalt and explain our ways and means to the unwashed and ivory-templed alike. I just like to play with words because it makes me happy. It makes me even happier that I’m pretty good at it. It make me happiest that poetry is a never-ending quest that never quits inviting us to pass on the ‘pretty good’ and continue pursuing a growth mindset of ever-cuter and tricksier methods of leveling up and exploring the infinitudinal limits of our literary playland’s rides and attractions. This poem’s no different. It’s just me hanging out backstage at ‘The Kidd and Khamille Show’ while playing Pokemon Go with the remixed and mashed-up wordtracks until the only dancer left on the floor is another sand castle disco ball hustle queen wearing a tinfoil crown dedicated to the auspices of truth, hope, and the all-too-human trifecta of never-yielding samsaric despair. Cheers!”

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