It smells
of meatballs and anise,
a goddamn bore, these
aromas. Makes a poor
sap hungry all the time.

The whores
are uglier than I am.
The junk is overpriced
and can’t be trusted. I’ll end up
under-high or over-dead.

The poets
are too kind, maybe phony.
So much community. Why be
in each other’s shit? But, it is
kind of groovy after a while.

The city
so fucking provincial but
too damn big at the same time.
I’m going to ramble to East Ohio Street
for some dope, to Oakmont for a cake.


JANETTE SCHAFER is a playwright, poet, and opera singer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She is a 2017 awardee of the Maenad Fellowship in writing through Chatham University and a 2015 awardee of the Arts MODE Fellowship through New Sun Rising LLC for playwriting and experimental theater.  Recent and upcoming publications appear in Calamus Journal; Zany Zygote Review; Eyedrum Periodically; Nasty Women & Bad Hombres; The Woman, Inc.; B. E. Literary Journal; Big Lit International Writing Festival; Chatham University broadsides.