Bonus Cut Poetry: The First Installment and a Poem by Justin Cook


This is the first installment of Bonus Cut Poetry, a new series that features original poems by Bonus Cut staff, artists and YOU! In this series, our mission is to bring people together in poetry, share stories and display wonderful artistic pieces. If you would like to have your poems in the next Bonus Cut Poetry installment, just email us at

Our first installment features Bonus Cut member Justin Cook.

my brother in san franscisco
By: Justin Cook

he moved there years ago.
left behind half
his wardrobe, a book collection,
and milk crates of vinyl.
i uncovered boxes in the garage.
absorbed. remembering
he taught me
how turntables revolve.
those saturday mornings
before he went to rehab.
he used to swim in bourbon;
blew dust at metallic raves.

he rode in a truck bed,
blindfolded, to marijuana fields.
harvested crystalline medicine,
rolled hash in his palms.
eyes tinted evergreen. self-sustained.
cutting the head off a chicken.
he let the blood dry
on his palms. wandering along
the feet of redwood trees,
covered in dead cicadas:
the last feast of summer. heat waves
of an open oven. my brother

throwing peppers into a stir fry,
stained with curry; peeling the shells
off shrimp, caught
that morning. foam carrying
sand to the sun. forging the lenses
over his eyes, watering from spice.
squeezing lime over the pan
like the river that flowed
through town to an ocean—

where he took us one summer solstice.
we lit a fire in pacific mist.
sand milky under the moon.
lightning dove into the night,
embers of wood crackling.
smokey aroma: clouds
twenty thousand feet above sea level.
he sparked a blunt, clockwise.

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2 thoughts on “Bonus Cut Poetry: The First Installment and a Poem by Justin Cook

  1. “lightning dove into the light” is my favorite line

  2. currankentucky says:

    Beautiful piece.

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