Ineffective Advertising by Bryce Journey

In the sizzling air a boy stands with a yellow sign that reads

“We Will Pay For Gold!”

He stands outside a pawn shop battered

like a tanned trumpet forgotten in the attic.

The sign gleams in his sweaty hands

like a sun plaited in 12-karat blistered paint.

The boy dances with the sign

a wild whirlwind windmill dance

With spider arms and legs grasping and clutching and begging

at the thick air in a martial arts sales pitch.

I picture the boy in a jungle with a feathered staff instead of sign

and bones through his nose instead of silver rings.

I almost pull over to rescue him, hoping

there may be some gold bars I forgot about in the trunk I can unload.

I probably would have stopped if he’d been a chick and wore less

so I drove on instead.


About the Author:
Bryce Journey is a Language Arts and Creative Writing teacher with Omaha Public Schools and an English Adjunct Professor at Iowa Western Community College. He has MA degrees in Education and English and a BFA in Creative Writing. He has presented his academic writing at the North Dakota State Annual National Literature Conference, and his creative work has been represented for sale in Hollywood. His poetry has appeared in the National Library Association’s annual anthology, Blind Man’s Rainbow literary magazine, Scissortale Review, Apropos, Temenos, Fortunates, Red Clay Review; his creative nonfiction has appeared in Poydras Review and Hippocampus Magazine.