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People from Real Life People #2: Leena Joshi & Eszter Takacs

People from Real Life People #2: Leena Joshi & Eszter Takacs

If you travel and do stuff—play shows, read poems—you tend to meet a lot of people who do a good job. If we are here, we’re here with. It’s good to remember that. It’s good to remember them. Even on the internet. Here are two:

Leena Joshi

I read with Leena in Seattle. We were in an adorable tabletop game lounge/store, but Leena’s poems weren’t a game. They were every crumb falling off your morning Pop-Tart in a dark river tunnel gondola, and maybe you think you’re tunneling amusement park style, but you’re actually tunneling a whole life. Caught in mid-yawn with every gentleness and awkwardness.

Leena makes poems, music, videos, photographs, pictures, t-shirts, and tote bags, all of which go a little ways toward slushing the world. Here are two things Leena made.

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egg bodied from Leena Joshi on Vimeo. Featuring リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピ by MACINTOSH PLUS.

Leena Joshi is from Seattle. Right now she draws, writes, makes videos. She is online at


Eszter Takacs

I read with Eszter in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She brought a lot of friends with her, but more importantly she brought wily, wide-casting poems that sewed themselves up like a spell written with seaweed. It took me forever to get her work up here, and I have it on good authority that Eszter might have taken a road trip in the interim, but her poems built an even stranger road while we weren’t looking, so I hope we’ll look now.


Like an exploration of faith, you are a feather
with so many reasons to live in a tree.
At noon, the answers are no longer born of
frightened music and are no longer wearing a conditional green.
This is a likely story about a classic face
and I will tell it without pausing for a breath.
We should clean the roof together unpleasantly.
There will be a greater understanding there
and we will be so much closer to the sky.
Our fictional television seeks no authority and
your variable flash-drive is no longer in my hand.
Our vacation is a field of vacations in a field of light.


I am sifting your bag of uncomfortable weather.
So much grace is needed to coordinate proper breathing,
to emote the distance between undedicated planets.
Emote your sequined ancestors because they are unwilling,
because irrational music lights your hallway neatly.
I would like that we join our staff tightly
with indiscretion and with a lot of professional crying.
If you are the wind in the tunnel, please complete this survey
about human slavery in the southern hemisphere.


I love your Spanish inquisition respectfully.
I love your slavering heart respectfully.
I am a combat zone holding your hand.
I was there last night, bewitched and small,
naked and still, slighted and willing to drop it like its hot.

Out here, nobody recognizes the garbage truck to be a small heart.
The traffic lights mark bodies of water that were never there.
Neon bodies are drifting madly across the skyline in pairs.
I have finally begun to understand the mathematics of small kitchens.
Life here is not what it used to be, the way it was always near the sky
and at times, so cold that nobody knows where to put their feelings.
I am a collision of hearts. You are a collision of hearts.


I am asking you to mystically extinguish
the arm of fire in the basement next door.
Next door is a different galaxy of feathers.
Next door is a street with a more elegant name.
I am willing to negotiate a cross on the wall
of our liberal apartment. I feel its controversy.
It is turning gold at a romantic pace.
It is feeling my left arm politely.
I didn’t contract a new front porch by touch.
It isn’t something I can love easily but it is lovely.
I love only particular instances of perseverance
and long drains divisible by implausible wine .
We are rendered elements of a new stone castle.
Inside the castle there are no lights.

Eszter Takacs is the author of these chapbooks: 
Together We Will Talk Right Down to Earth (The New Megaphone, 2014) and The Spectacular Crash (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). Additionally, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Salt Hill, Yalobusha Review, Forklift Ohio, Sonora Review, Alice Blue, DIAGRAM, Word Riot, Smoking Glue Gun, Ghost Proposal, Ampersand Review, Barn Owl Review, Hot Metal Bridge, Softblow, Sink Review, and Interrupture, and elsewhere. She is currently translating Hungarian poetry into English. She was born in Hungary but is mostly from Los Angeles, and she is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas.


Did you meet someone in real life? Did they do a good job? Tell me 2 to 4 sentences about them, and ask them for something to go up (like one poem, one story, one essay, one song). Email me these things: mikeayoung AT gmail DOT com. Where it might go up is here.

Mike Young
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About The Author

Mike Young

Mike Young is the author of three books: Sprezzatura (2014, poems), Look! Look! Feathers (2010, stories), and We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (2010, poems). He publishes the free online/print literary magazine NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, and lives online at In person, he lives in Santa Fe, NM.

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