Home » Joe Atkins
Community Voice

Joe Atkins

In his poetry, Joe Atkins works to represent the syntax of spoken American conversations. Some of his poems also give a nod to the “flarf” school of poetry (which employs google searches, and found internet poems). As a contemporary poet, Joe gets bored with many of poetry’s traditional themes: the self, individuality, that eternal striving for uniqueness. “Poetically,” Joe says, “I’m just attempting to actively engage with our moment and so that we might know what it was.” Check out how he creates a kind of surrealistic world out of word-pixels in his work.

Yr name dotted together with clouds,

Scripted into the blu iris of an atmosphere,
Consumed in blinking night.

A taste of the future of poetry? Check out the surprising work of Joe Atkins.

Joe Atkins received a BA from CSU Sacramento and an MA from UC Davis. He lives in Sacramento and helps edit convergence-journal.com.

Follow this link to Convergence Journal – a Sacramento-based online journal of poetry and art:

And for more information on flarf poetry or Conceptual writing – two new trends in modern verse, see Kenneth Goldsmith’s revealing article in the July/August issue of Poetry.


The history of death & pools go together
With H1N1 & depressions; everything so similar
In the way of metaphoric potential.
I build tangerines that scrape the sky
& people pay a mortgage for fractions
Of a tangerine floor. The top is lighted
With flat screen televisions emitting only light.
They’re visible from miles away like
Satellite television or airplane correspondence.
The low & high harmonies are done subtly
& right here there’s a picture of a man swimming
Through Chinese waters which look like bruisings.
The Peoples Republic of China is all about the people,
It’s in the name, but when you go there it’s kinda dirty.
It’s like I believe in the power of the people
But the people never accomplish anything on their own
& they continually let me down with their music.
Every other day I feel empty headed; my mind riots & disperses.
& constantly I wonder what that means or reveals
About me, myself, or about my intentions.
I mapped my intentions once—created a city
Style cartography—they amounted to sex,
Food, & company, with various intersections.
One just kept crashing into the next, it was magic!
& after that everything was carcinogens.



She ruined his life. On red carpet he tore
A gun above the Catskills. Payed the toll
In Boston jaded orng with burnt brick walls.

Despite the blu skies, heaven could be hoarded.
Or so she thought. Location means everything.
The nation of Milwaukee a shut out

With a concussion. Bring the meaning out.
Look at the characters! They’re expecting
Florida hurricanes to pause. In the air

Above Aksarben lighting flashes, sun
Like. The cloud bank below Nicole Kidman,

Is sarcasm she typed into the apple.
Read the paper: Leaves Changing in Saigon,
Vietnam. Please pay the toll booth once again.



If we fear the gap of time btwn
One moment—taut thread—moment,
Then we lament the physical separation

Of iron railings, inverted hotels eschewing the horizon.
The technological sidewalk city enabled.
Yr name dotted together with clouds,

Scripted into the blu iris of an atmosphere,
Consumed in blinking night.
Then a line compromised of multiple points—

inevitable ink blots—must needle responsibility.
Look! More sky below yr feet,
Ingesting the mooring light with yarn.

We swallow, this thimble full of apostasy.












-Joe Atkins.


Events & Happpenings

[add_eventon_slider slide_auto="yes" slide_pause_hover="yes" slide_loop="yes" only_ft="yes" event_count="5" slider_pause="4000" slider_type="def" slider_speed="2000" number_of_months="2" ]

See Full Calendar >>

About the author

Bob Stanley

Support Local


Subscribe to Our
Weekly Newsletter

Stay connected to what's happeninging
in the city
We respect your privacy

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Stay connected to what's happening in the city

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This