extraterrestrials are trying

to figure out the best way

to tell us they are extremely depressed

every technological breakthrough

was made by someone who was depressed with the world

assholes in labs making more depressing technology

extraterrestrials are asking us to team up

and read the unabomber’s manifesto

in outer space an asteroid is sad

it decides to crash into a moon

on my home planet people are hoping that

the apocalypse occurs in their lifetime

a man throwing a tennis ball for a corgi

another man walking into a forest and disappearing

a third man staring at screens for twelve hours a day

extraterrestrials are attempting to invent a time machine

so they can go back in time

and stop people from making technology

extraterrestrials just want a corgi a house by a stream and box wine

assholes in labs trying to invent the apocalypse

in outer space the universe is trying to kill itself with black holes

extraterrestrials are tired of staring at screens

your sadness is always at a distance

and you approach it like an asteroid

and disappear into it like a blackhole

extraterrestrials are broadcasting a message that says

‘life is only sad if you think about it’



Diablo 3


i am staring at a screen

and my avatar moves toward the top right corner

and there is a demon or a skeleton or

some type of bad guy and there are other people

and they are on the couch next to me

and sometimes they say things or laugh

and something is happening in the back of my head

there are words to describe emotional states

but sometimes they don’t work

in two hours i will leave my friend’s apartment

and walk two miles home

it is cold and i hope it starts to rain

and the rain falls like the world is a cemetery



world annihilation poem


now i will turn into a text book of ethics

and i will fall off a table and open to a page with a profound insight and i will punch myself in the face with an ethical maxim and it will be eye-opening and life-changing and then i will run up the wall and body slam myself with the entire weight of the complete argument and its conclusion to make sure i don’t forget it

my depression will disappear because i realize that depression is unethical

and i will go outside to places i didn’t previously go because of depression

i will go to the park and i will write poems in a tree and i will throw the poems to passersby and they will feel warm and positive emotions that make
their hearts do backflips and they will take their smartphones out of their purses or pockets and text the person they care the most about and they will promise to only use their smartphones to increase the intimacy of their relationship and to keep in touch with family members and not for wasting time or looking at porn

i will get on a bus and i will volunteer to drive the bus so the bus driver can take a nap

then i will go to the museum of fine arts and i will ask everyone what they think of a painting and i will listen intently and i will feel intrigued and excited by their responses and i will think that art is beautiful and important and life-changing

then i will go to various job interviews with a bunch of people competing for a limited number of jobs and i will intentionally give a bad interview to make the other interviewees look better by comparison

then i will volunteer at a soup kitchen and i will bring cupcakes to give to everyone and i will ask them how their day has been and when they aren’t looking i will write them poems expressing the beauty of flowers and the unbounded potential of their lives and how love can happen to anyone and make everything better when they least expect it and they will read the poems and smile but they will smile in part because i put five dollar bills inside all of my poems

i will go around putting baby birds back in nests, but i will wear latex gloves because i heard that thing about the mother bird cutting off the baby bird if it had been touched by humans

i will give catnip and canned food to all the cats

i will throw frisbees and tennis balls and sticks for all the dogs

i will high five strangers and smile until they experience a warm feeling

i will go to the beach and i will lie down in the sand and let the waves wash over me

i will write poems for the ocean and ask it how its day has been the ocean will be shocked

‘nobody has ever asked me that’ it will say

i will invest blindly in the stock market

i will buy stocks that are failing

‘why are you doing this’ the stock market will say

‘because this will let people make money at my expense’ i will say

the stock market will leave, perplexed and changed, magnanimous it will promise to be less volatile

if people dare me to get a tattoo i will

i will tattoo their name on my face

i will tattoo their face on my face

i will tattoo my body to look like the body of their significant other

i will find a sad woman and invite her to a movie

and i will pay for the movie and buy her a large drink and popcorn and nachos and a hot dog and sour patch kids and after the movie if she wants sex i will provide it because i understand what loneliness can do and my sole purpose is to relieve the suffering of others and i am willing to have sex with people i’m not sexually attracted to because it will make them feel better

when i return to my apartment myself in book form is there on the floor lying open to a different page and i’m open to nietzsche and i think ‘oh shit i wasted my day’

and i run around and send spiteful texts from people’s phones and block friends on facebook and write unpleasant emails to family members complaining about how bad and uneventful my life is and how monotonous and boring my job is

i throw tennis balls at birds’ nests to knock out the baby birds

i take back all the catnip from the cats and i ignore their lamentful meows

and all the dogs i’ve thrown frisbees and tennis balls and sticks for i scold them and say ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl’ and point my finger at them and i do this until their tails stop wagging and they lie down and cover their eyes with their paws

i get laser removal surgery on all my tattoos and if that doesn’t work i tattoo the tattoo of your face on my face to look like a disfigured version of your face or if the tattoo i got was a tattoo of your name i add a ‘fuck’ in front of your name and if i tattooed my body to look like your significant other i get that tattooed to accentuate the non-flattering parts of your significant other

i go back to all the places i interviewed and apologize and give them a three page letter expressing my apologies and i tell them i’d like another chance to prove myself and i am convincing and determined and energetic and i get interviewed again and i outperform everyone else and i get hired immediately at all the jobs and they decide i was so good they can lay off an additional employee

i steal all my money back from the homeless and use it to buy even more stocks and i wait for the optimal moment and then sell my stocks and make a substantial profit and then i use the money to gamble at a casino but i’m not actually gambling i’m using russian software on an iphone that tells you when to pull the lever on the slot machine so that you are guaranteed to win and when a security guard is alerted that i might be suspicious i tell him that ‘god is dead’ and i kick him in the shin and splash gin in his eye and then i steal his sunglasses and ear piece and take my chips and cash out and i erase all the security tapes

i steal back all my poems and set them ablaze

and the fire grows so big that it burns down trees

and the fire grows so big that it burns down buildings

and the fire grows so big that it burns down Houston

and the fire grows so big that it burns down Texas

and the fire grows so big that it burns down America

and the fire grows so big that it burns down the western hemisphere

and the fire grows so big that it burns down the planet

and the fire grows so big that it burns down the solar system

and the fire grows so big that it burns down the milky way

and the fire engulfs the entire universe

and then the universe is dead




Johnny Kiosk lives, sleeps, and checks his email in or near Houston. He has poems in Alien Mouth, Uncle Ken Presents, Inferior Planets (under a different name). He has a book, ’emoji death mask’, published by Maudlin House, and a chapbook published by Ghost City Press. He sporadically tweets @johnnykiosk.