Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 12
Autumn, 2013

Featured Excerpt

Hugh Behm-Steinberg

Luna Park

When Aristarchus of Samos tried to prove the earth revolved around the sun, he built a wheel and spun people around on it. See, he said, your village encircles you, but it's not moving, you are, therefore, therefore, therefore. Who cares, said the folks on the wheel, spin us around again! So he built more wheels, and charged money to ride them. That is how astronomy gave birth to amusement parks. To spin around so fast you see stars. To stare at bright lights, close your eyes and see stars. To be pressed up against your date until you see stars. To wait in line and watch the moon obliterate the stars. To cheer the fireworks as your lover tells you we're more than just temporary stars. One hand on your baby, the other on the wheel of the bumper car.


This is the don't lick the toaster when it's on song. It's kinda wrong, and it's gonna hurt. So don't lick the toaster when it's on.

Don't lick the blender when it's on, and don't lick the stove. Don't lick the juicer or the ice cream maker or the stereo. Don't lick the floor. Don't taste the cookie dough in the food processor when it's on, and don't lick the toaster when it's on.

You don't know what's going to happen if you do, you don't want to know what's going to happen if you do, it's going be horrible, especially if it happens to you, so don't lick the toaster when it's on, son.

The Secret Ingredient

There's a secret ingredient you can't taste that if you eat it you'll convert automatically to Judaism. You don't know what it is, and no one will tell you what it is. You may be eating something with it right now. It's subtle. Someone may be feeding it to you already. You may have been eating it for years and years. That man sitting next to you eating nachos, he clutches his chest and goes Oy. He doesn't even look Jewish; you're not sure why so suddenly you feel so hungry. Nothing you eat tastes good anymore. What are you eating, right now? Is there something on you you've never thought was upon you? Do you feel it being lifted from you? Do you feel free? Do you want some more?

Hugh Behm-Steinberg writes: I am the author of two collections of poetry: Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press), as well as two Dusie chapbooks, Sorcery and Good Morning!. My poems have appeared in such places as Crowd, VeRT, Volt, Spork, Cue, Slope, Aught, Fence, Swerve, dirt, ditch, Zeek and Sweet, as well as a few places with more than one syllable. I teach writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where I edit the journal Eleven Eleven.