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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Poem, Duplex: 161 words
By Jonathan Yungkans

As the Ocean Makes Grasses, and
in the Process Refurbishes a Lighthouse*

I play the ocean through my laptop to sleep. 
Or does it play me? Trimmed lawns roll, break, withdraw—

	illusion of breakers, jade-green with envy 
	of how waves speak. Grass blades stand, mute clarinet 

reeds, waiting for a breeze to make them vibrate, 
attempt to match the surf with a single tone 

	which fails to seduce the ear in rise and fall. 
	Verdant as grass with its jealousy, I’m root-

and virus-bound, the yard too small as waves leave, 
endless and undulant. A tide that’s a sigh, 

	a long breath toward which my mind bears down in 
	search of calm, a wish to move without danger, 

for which the sound of rollers is a beacon. 
I play the ocean through my laptop to sleep. 



* Poet’s Note:

Title is from the poem “Someone You Have Seen Before” by John Ashbery, in his collection April Galleons (The Viking Press, 1987).

Jonathan Yungkans
Issue 14, August 2022

is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer with an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in San Pedro Poetry Review, Synkroniciti, West Texas Literary Review, Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and other publications. His second poetry chapbook, Beneath a Glazed Shimmer, won the 2019 Clockwise Chapbook Prize and was published in February 2021 by Tebor Bach.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Le Grand Matin by Jonathan Yungkans, a Finalist in MacQ’s Triple-Q Writing Challenge (Issue 11, January 2022)

La Porte by Yungkans in MacQ’s special Christmas Eve issue (10X, December 2021)

Two Duplex Poems, plus author’s notes on the poems and on the form, by Yungkans in Issue 10 of MacQ (October 2021)

Lawful and Proper, poem in Rise Up Review (Fall 2020)

Cadralor in the Key of F-Sharp as It Cuts into My Spine, in the inaugural issue of Gleam (Fall 2020)

I’d Love to Cook Like Hannibal Lecter [video], read by the poet at an event sponsored by Moon Tide Press (10 October 2019) celebrating the anthology Dark Ink: A Poetry Anthology Inspired by Horror

Saving the Patient, poem in The Voices Project (18 January 2018)

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