“Amateur Seismologist,” “Crosstown, Longitudinally” & “Family Business Ideas” by Alexyss Robinson

Illustration in blue, orange and yellow of buildings overhead

Amateur Seismologist

i felt an earthquake years ago
long before i lived in LA.
i heard my grandmother tell
one of her last living in-laws
that she feared it was a stroke.
some nights i close my eyes and
see flash bombs of bright light
and fear this is the big one.

Crosstown, Longitudinally

no man is an island unless
purchased for trinkets
pimped out for

skyscrapers penetrate
innocuous clouds
innuendo aside
it’s sickening

Family Business Ideas

used car lot specializing in forged vin numbers,
stolen out-of-state plates,
and insurance fraud;
twenty-four hour diner with a secret menu
full of illicit chemical compounds
if you ask the overnight busboy
for lemon with your water;
dry cleaner for blood-soaked dress shirts;
landscaping to cover up the stench of
rotting bodies buried six feet under;
dirty cops covering their own asses
and fucking everybody else up theirs;
tutoring services for at-risk youth,
otherwise known as wealthy white teens;
sporting goods store full of blunt objects
and hunting rifles sold without background checks;
general contractors who
know that walks can talk.

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Alexyss Robinson is a New York-born writer oscillating between here and there. She tries really hard to write these without sounding pretentious but fails every time. Her personal website is alexyssrobinson.com and her Twitter is @uhlexyss. She’s working on putting herself out there.

Chris Carreon is a jack of alright trades with an interest in music, drawing, taking photos, and petting dogs. He considers himself the Jackson Pollock of latte art. Follow what he’s been drawing and seeing on instagram @cereal_death / @cerealdebt.