Mantras & 9808

-Poems by Dallas Athent


Photo by Jeffrey Barken


I wake up every morning,
Sing an anthem to myself.

Write like a boy who just got paid,
a boy who just ordered an Uber.
Write like you answer questions for the sky,
talk like you’re gonna do this.

Write like you’re a Summer that skipped Spring
like scabbed knees don’t stick to your dresses.
Go to that deal like you have the final say,

be proud of where ur address is.

Don’t let nobody question you okay?
Fireworks in their tongues,
fire started in their houses.

And when they come down,
you don’t come

back down.
Go to talk shop.

When they say girl no, you stop.
I cry. I say.
I stay.

Photo by Jeffrey F. Barken


You think we don’t matter,
that we’re all gonna die,
that we’re all senseless matter
whirling around in le wind.

Until you end up at a memorial
in Bethel, Connecticut

for some Italian American man,
died at 32.

A family of Libertarians
with conceal carry permits who don’t vote,
and pass down dirt bikes,
think poems are for pussies

and consider potato chips a vegetable.

But they are honest like,
really loving him like.
Tears all over the peue,
pictures of him at Rye Playland.
Eulogies reminding you of how much he loved his son,
and also nature.
They always love nature.

Then the sister says,
“Better get out before we get kicked out
of the church at three.”
There’s a middle class wedding,
full of baby’s breath and regrets
and our time is up as the banquet rolls in.
We know our place

The sister who’s always in charge of these things
wraps up what’s left of the cheesecake and

distributes the mourning treats among us all,
and you see his little son’s face
alone in the flowers.


Dallas Athent


Dallas Athent is an art reviewer for At Large Magazine, a board member of Nomadic Press and the editor of the short story collection, Bushwick Nightz. Her writing has appeared in Buzzfeed Community, PACKET Bi-Weekly, PANK Magazine, VIDA Reports from the Field, BUST Magazine, Yes Poetry & more. She has been an editor for Bushwick Daily and Luna Luna Magazine. Her work, both literary and artistic has been profiled in Bedford + Bowery, Brooklyn Based, Brooklyn Magazine, and Papermag, among others.