Two Poems by Daniel Romo


This particular machine has never been well-oiled. In fact, it runs smoothest not on soothing lubricants, but on bad intentions. Each operator must commit to condemning the machine for the duration of their shift. Employees clock in with gritty scowls and raised fists, as if ready to engage in eight hours of punishment. When the machine breaks down, service technicians are called to coax out maximum performance in the form of cursing. But at night when the workplace is empty, the janitor puts his push broom aside, pats the machine as if it was a living being, and whispers, Now, there, there, motherfucker. There, there.


The Wonderbra was born and bred in Canada. Designed to bolster feelings and support self-esteem, an Internet poll revealed it as the 5th greatest Canadian invention ever: just behind the Light Bulb and Five Pin Bowling. The poll didn’t disclose the rationale behind the voting, but it’s interesting to note, IMAX is also on the list. Bigger screens and fuller tits, and the combination of the two makes the average viewer stare in awe, magnifying movement and flesh, making things appear larger than they really are. The bra’s followed closely by the Pacemaker, zipper, and Robertson Screw.

Daniel Romo is the author of When Kerosene’s Involved (Black Coffee Press, 2013) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). His poetry can be found in The Los Angeles Review, Gargoyle, MiPOesias, Hobart, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and teaches high school by day and college by night. He lives in Long Beach, CA and here.