Averages sentence most to ordinary measures
of disappointment: mute car batteries

and burnt toast what passes for
catastrophe. The benign masses easily distinguished
from those exiled to the margins,

nature a balanced equation.
The scale bends, extremes arcing, electricity
pouncing from one prong to the other.
Authenticity sounds out of tune the further
out into the frontier—

an exponential increase in the rhetoric
of failure, a theory that justifies all the data
and leaves a sliver of light
under the doorway.

For every prophet an imposter so talentless
he’s convinced himself of the illusion.


Author’s Bio

Josh Stewart is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Temptation as a Technical Difficulty (Anstruther Press, 2015) and Invention of the Curveball (Cactus Press, 2008). His work has appeared in Vallum, Descant, The New Quarterly, Grain, The Antigonish Review, Carousel, Prairie Fire, (parenthetical), CV2, Existere, and others.