Happy New Year to Everyone I Love – by Corbin Louis

     this is for the days
   we smoked juul beneath orion’s belt
and the times we gambled in december—
drove amir’s camry downtown
   to pick up checks that we cashed
     for infinite clout

     this is for the zoo lights and rum
   for growing out your hair
and eating wendy’s on lake city way
   which is our throne proper

     every day this year
     we tuned the guitars
   and beat the sunset
   with our fists
swinging effortlessly
at the ATMs and
iHop, where we ate
the greatest meal
   of our lives

     and the greatest war
   of our lives was just
rehab and a first date

it was easy but so huge

     it was an arcade and a
   studio session and a coke bag
and a handoff and a jam
and a whole foods and a
   playlist and a thrift shop
   we turned into madison avenue

        this pilgrimage is so close to perfect
     and my god how the cop lights shine
   my god how the days burn
like an oil rig or menthol
the doors open and the tide swings
   and everything
     wakes up

Corbin Louis is a poet and performer from Seattle. He is an MFA graduate of the University of Washington Bothell. Corbin’s work has been featured in BAXAtticus Review, and The Visible Verse Film Festival and more. His art is rooted in a radical honesty intended to question repressive norms, such as the stigmas of mental illness and criminalization of drugs. Corbin’s text/image is a pickaxe meant to cut reality open at the nerve and exam the findings. This way understanding becomes empathy. As long as people can feel something, there’s a chance we might live to see a few decent hours.

Art: let your freak flag fly, acrylic paint on 14×11 inch canvas, 2018
Artist Statement: I love all the life packed into this poem — the authenticity of being who you really are, which this painting strives to emulate.