Osmosis by Bryce Johle

Issue 10

Holed up with a filmmaker

and a crisis of conscience,

a cocktail tackles my story.

Sometimes a pillbug in a yard

can be more interesting

if captured, or microwaved.

But we suss out the puzzles,

the dynamics of weak points

in back doors. It’s a beginning.

for millions of locks,

circumvented by a master

key. Think of it as an

intellectual osmosis;

an exploratorium serving

up my business to the hilt.

With a little help, great water

leaks from the perfect ice

like a Mythbusters exhibit.

I’m praised for my ability

to mentally rotate tangrams

like a mapmaker, a Lincoln Log engineer.

No reasonable person

would discuss this story

on the record.

Go ahead and let them

plant the tomatoes

in the shade, because

in a hotel room,

there is no room

for the whole family.


Source Texts:
CNET MagazineFall 2016 Issue
-Article 1: “Growing Curiosity”
-Article 2: “The Snowden Effect”
-Letter in front of magazine introducing the issue and contents.
-Ad for 2017 FIAT 124 Spider (Car)

Method: This poem was an experiment for me. I don’t normally do much found poem composition. Just for an exercise, I took this CNET Magazine, which talks a lot about technology and espionage and education, and as I read, circled phrases that popped out at me—the moments in ordinary article-writing that occur to you as surprisingly poetic. Even certain instances of interesting vocabulary, I’d circle these words and phrases, and then collect them in a list. Then, I looked for a theme. Naturally, there was a very present Bond-esque motif happening, but I juxtaposed it with the education articles and advertisements to make something cohesive. In arranging my list in a series that made sense for me, I gradually crossed out words that no longer fit within my message, and used up the rest, until I arrived at my finished product. I felt a new sense of accomplishment with this poem, so I hope you find pleasure in it.

Bryce Johle is from Williamsport, PA, and recently earned his B.A. in Professional Writing from Kutztown University. His stories and poems have appeared in The Writing Disorder, Shoofly Literary Magazine, Essence Art and Literary Magazine, draft Literary Magazine, and platform Zine.