• Jennifer Barnick

Selected Poems by Jennifer Barnick


Photo Source: Pexels


There has been a lot. I watch a lot of television and have for years—so I can see new trends. Car bombs even school shootings have a kind of sanitation to them. The crime does not seem as intimate—so filled with body odors and possibly rhythmic sounds like conversation or jingling radio or breathing.

Has anyone noticed all of the missing and murdered little girls lately? There has been a lot. It used to be occasional. Now the stories are like planes waiting for take-off at busy international airports. First a low grumble. I think we are finally next, I see a plane go up and away, then nothing, we weren’t next then another low grumble and on and on. I hope God takes their mind and soul and heart up and away when they are being attacked. I can never really know if this is so because they find them in garbage bags and suitcases. I can’t ask them.

A great deal of grown women are being found dead too, and bosses and co-workers are getting shot way more than they used to. It kind of makes me miss gang related violence.

On a scratchy and low light hotel security camera a man is seen carrying a little girl into his room just like newlyweds do. Off camera he raped and killed the little girl and dumped her body into a pile of butchered deer carcasses. Back on camera many of the townspeople were upset by this whole event. The mother had sold her little daughter to the man to cover a drug debt.

But back to the dead little girls—there has been a lot. I am watching it all on television. One little girl, it was reported, was found on a piece of undeveloped property inside of a suitcase. This time the abductor, rapist, and murderer was a woman. She was the little girl’s Sunday school teacher. A woman? With frequency comes novelty—I watch a lot of television so I can spot trends.

But what I do not know how to do is stop it all from happening. Everything, faster and faster, is becoming story and number. Each poignant life is becoming those little girls. I want to stop this trend, but when I hear about it on the television my shoes are usually off, my husband is blocking my car with his in our narrow driveway. I am full from dinner, and my daughter is still working on her homework, and sometimes she asks me for help.

But what I do not know how to do is stop it all from happening.

Last Night was the Academy Awards

(and I did not Watch Them)


Chuang Tzu Kicks Total Ass

It was Sunday in latish February;

the snow was coming down

in windless ball curtains.

The sky was gray but pregnant with

bright—so there was some youth

in the sky in the gray.

We had some new music and

discussed that this new music

should go with us to Paris.

I like very loud music to go with me

to places. Like Great sound arms

holding and swaying.

I drank wine chopped vegetables.

Again very loud Rock and Roll

nearly punk rock but new and kind

and twenty first century.

Took me swayed me held me.

Conversations dropped down in

windless cottony curtains

like the snow outside. Later a little

whooshing whirl but settled quickly.

We watched a little bit of a movie.

Terrible Tim pick.

Then some noodles and homemade chicken broth.

Then a little sleep in the bedroom.

There was some silly pillow talk.

American Chips

Doritos Doritos

thou dost know the human heart.

Doritos Doritos

so far from nature thou art.

I know I like you, love you perhaps even,

but I do not know

if you are


for me.

The Politics of Design

That record player

is way more





Jennifer Barnick is a painter and writer. She studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She founded Twenty-two Twenty-eight. “One of the most exciting aspects of Twenty-two Twenty-eight is building a channel for artists and writers to share their work with the world.” You can follow Jennifer on her Instagram here.

Check out Jennifer’s book. You can read the first short story for free on Amazon here.