Jesse Minkert

August 10, 2015

Optical motion sensors
display two thousand dreams
two thousand times a minute.
Two thousand automatic tongues
lick two thousand labels and
two thousand automatic thumbs
smooth them to the vessels
wherein his dreams, with
muted squeals and giggles
splash and bask as if on
an outing to the lake.

Robot arms extend.
Stainless hands with
rubber fingerprints lift
and drop the vessels
into cardboard cases.
A shuddering conveyor,
stacks on stacks on palettes
in a warehouse mind.

The millwright’s lips,
sculpted as if in clay,
nest on a pillow, flutter and snore,
a noise like a window fan
with a stuttering blade.


Jesse Minkert lives in Seattle. Wood Works Press published a letterpress collection of his microstories, Shortness of Breath & Other Symptoms, in 2008. His work appears in the Georgetown Review, the Chaffin Journal, Studio One, the Minetta Review, Randomly Accessed Poetics, Confrontation, Paper Nautilus, Mount Hope, Floating Bridge Review, and Harpur Palate.

What motivates him to create:
“My father was an artist and my first teacher when I was twelve years old. Up until that time, I had no talents that would single me out from others my age, but when I learned to draw, I found a new person in me. I pursued the visual arts through two degrees, but a threat to my vision suggested that I should turn in a new direction, so I began to write more. At this point, creativity is like an autonomic function in my body. If I’m not working on something, I tend to wither, and at my age, withering is not much of a metaphor.”