Justin released a poetry collection, Digging to China, with Sweatshoppe Publications in 2013. He was nominated for the Gover Prize (short fiction) in 2014. His work is featured in Best New Writing ... [+]

Image of Short Circuit - Short Circuit #05

I tucked my hair, long
and blond like Kurt's,
behind my ears.
Red flannel hung low,
loose and sloppy,
like my guitar.
My jeans, all
beat to shit,
inked with black
Sharpie "fuck you's,"
frayed and stomped
by Chuck Taylor.
I'd pluck my novice
power chords and scream
pretty, toneless songs
of teenage angst
into microphones
inside grange halls.

And then Kurt died.

Alone and prone,
below a shot gun,
defiant fist clenched
next to jeans,
all beat to shit,
all frayed and stomped.
I saw him:
a martyr,
a hero,
a role model
pathetic god.
But really,
he was a scared little boy
cowering behind long
blond hair,
red flannel
and power chords.

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