Three Collaborative Poems
Evonne Acevedo Johnson

Bev Harp

I come from
the edges of the property
dog-eared, odd

Usually these discarded
patrol separate rooms

the invoice explaining
she’s seen something
in the back of my car

I confessed devastating nuisances
have a bag for testing
my “crime”

She’s weird, they would say

As minor, perceived requests
boxes that wouldn’t
didn’t take
the common
for not at all

Two of our mutual Gods
don't live in Maine.
One is confused,
obtuse and funereal.
Why not thank a well
established “somebody,”
cut it down that much.
Please get the product
despite an awkward statement:
“I cannot stop my eyes.”
Your session has timed out.
It was the other one she meant.

Today begins the black armband.
Once, when I was almost jubilant with submission,
I fell shoes-first into a fortress
(or forest, they wrote)
of tubes and cactus
with two boys who turned out to be a prank.

One who was exclamation point happy
convinced that telepathic communication had occurred
oozed all over the floorboards
while the other
lay breathing and only breathing and never sitting up.
They felt sympathy,
which is not meant as a criticism.

Billy, a lot has happened since we wrote it. Mutation can be inherited. I’m done with
this unless you incorporate “How To” into your
titles, local girls looking around waiting to step on someone.
No one is to touch the thermostats.

Evonne Acevedo Johnson lives in Chicago with her husband, a cowboy-turned-freelance video game reviewer, and a menagerie of furry, feathery, and scaly "children." She thinks the saddest mistake folks make when reading poetry is trying to decipher what "happened" instead of experiencing what the poem is making happen. She enjoys Tom Waits and egg nog. When she encounters a large body of water, she jumps into it. She makes perfumes. They're at Her work has appeared in New American Writing and Ragged Edge.

Bev Harp is the author of the autism advocacy blog, Square 8. She lives and works in Lexington, KY, with an animatronic parrot, Squawkers McCaw. Bev has presented at national and international conferences on autism. She works for the Supported Higher Education Project at the University of Kentucky, assisting students with intellectual disabilities to achieve their postsecondary goals. Bev has written poetry most of her life. Her most recent publication is at Right Hand Pointing.