Author Archives: Jason Allen

About Jason Allen

Jason is currently living in upstate New York and pursuing a PhD in creative writing at Binghamton University, where he is an editor for Harpur Palate. His work has been published or is forthcoming in: Passages North, Paterson Literary Review, Contemporary American Voices, Cream City Review, The Molotov Cocktail, Oregon Literary Review, Spilt Infinitive, and other venues. He hopes to one day meet Tom Waits and buy him a cup of coffee.

Two Poems – Jason Allen


After Not Sleeping That Night

Celeste was twenty-two and psychic 
and spoke about witchcraft
while I stared at her whiskey bottle and her breasts;
her boyfriend, Tim, was seventeen,
a sneering skater with his arm in a cast—
I was drunk there, barely fifteen,
striking matches and kissing the next
cigarette, swilling warm cans of Bud
and cracked coffee mugs of Old Crow
while my friends, the other kids,
played like punks,
fell off their chairs and puked
where they fell,
and Tim smashed his skateboard
and smashed off his cast with a hammer
and smashed a vodka bottle
on the kitchen table
and I didn’t feel the cut even after 
the swipe of blood on my hand

as the next Black Flag cassette
slapped into the stereo,
just before the speakers buzzed
enough to rattle the walls,
I heard the next round of pounding
and muffled pleas
just down the hall—
the kid, locked in the closet, fourteen and sobbing
through the wall. Celeste cursed
Tim and kicked the chair from the knob
for the door to open, for the kid to crawl
out on dingy shag, his eyes wide
as half-dollars, his first time on acid,
the first and last time I would ever see him,
the last time I knew his name,
the only time I ever hated
Tim or that kitchen or 
that anti-everything song,
or even thought of the fact that 
it took a whole band, and all those instruments, 
to play so fucking loud.

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