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Jeff Bagato


A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music and glitch video. Some of his poetry and visuals have recently appeared in Empty Mirror, Futures Trading, Otoliths, Gold Wake Live, H&, The New Post-Literate, and Midnight Lane Boutique. Some short fiction has appeared in Gobbet and The Colored Lens. He has published nineteen books, all available through the usual online markets, including Savage Magic (poetry) and Kill Claus! (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at

The Standard is Too High

let’s go hungry for a moment,
wear our clothes until
skin shows through the holes;
you can stand a stain on
your pants

now we know we’ve been sitting
on trash for 3 years
because Salvation Army and Goodwill
both rejected our chairs
for dog hair grease and
cat scratches

it’s a shock because we never
knew—we always guessed
the poor lived so badly
and yet we lived pretty well

my drawers and closets and shelves
so full of trash and
happily substandard

trash snuck up on me;
I never guessed it—who would
have thought we’d be in that maw
so soon, so deeply—
a velvet mouth so far
from poverty, yet they
dare not stick their heads within

where do we go with these chairs,
once we’ve moved them out
and filled the space—
who would use, repair,
recycle them—
and at the dump, we have to pay
to throw them in

somehow we’ve reached
the bottom of the line
and yet I can’t believe its me,
hanging onto
the American way of trash

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