by Jacob Winterstein

The alarm clock will not go off.
The calendar will not turn to a day on which the alarm clock will go off.
There are no appointments
pocket books in which to put them
wallets stuffed with receipts and intentions
there is no ink with which to sign checks
nothing to check.
Check off, check up on, check in with, check. Check. One, two.
There is no counting to be done
inches to measure or columns to sort.
There are no grudges to hold and nothing in which to hold them.

There is no down to be let
up to keep your head
no locks
not floating down creeks
no broom sticks that aren’t masts
bed sheets that aren’t sails
beds that aren’t doors floating down creeks
there are no clouds
unworthy of your watching
no breeze that you have felt before
street vent steam beneath your curiosity
there are no ones doing nothing
you have never done nothing
there is no need to worry about stillness
no need to want
there are no wants
they are literally figments
struck flint with no fuel  
there are no beings who aren’t being
there is no no
there is
an uncontainable
there are, us
breathing, beating



photo by Paul Gargagliano for Hazel Photo


Jacob Winterstein is a poet, host, teaching artist, and event producer. He has traveled to twenty-four countries and always comes home to Philadelphia where he was born, raised and educated. Jacob has represented Philadelphia at the National Poetry Slam, The Individual World Poetry Slam, the Red Bull Word Clash Poetry Competition, and is a winner of the Philadelphia Poet VS MC freestyle competition. He has taught poetry, performance and improvisational rapping (freestyling) since 2006 at schools, universities, community centers and jails. He is the co-founder of The Philly Pigeon Poetry Slam, a Philadelphia Magazine Best of Philly 2012 winner and a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge 2013 winner. He is also the co-director of Camp Bonfire, a summer camp for adults.