Winning the Lottery, 1969

           After “Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out”

Every morning: the warmth

of their mattress. Every morning:

her callused husband          his belly

brimming with glass.

Every morning: a touch

of gin                                       to forget.

Because, suddenly,                    a leaf

of paper     is enough

to trouble water.

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For Jay it all began with flash fiction—how one could birth a world and its inhabitants within the limitations of a page or two, how a story could be fleeting yet timeless. Coming to terms with his new-found love for poetry, Jay combined narrative (from his history of writing prose) and the traditional lyric of poetry to create a style that he has stuck with ever since. Jay would probably be best friends with Bradbury’s Guy Montag, because who doesn’t yearn to be enlightened?