portion of the artwork for Jamez Chang's poetry

Jamez Chang’s Comments

“Tonight, Rhoden Robbins Throws a Fit”
This poem was inspired by Lewis Buzbee’s iconic poem “Sunday, Tarzan in His Hammock.” That flip-the-script, today I don’t-give-a-dragon-mouth-shit aesthetic: self-help gurus need love too; they need to know that it’s OK to lose one’s composure, to throw a fit, to masturbate into an oven mitt every once in a while. So if books-on-tape and alchemists get you through the night—you’re OK, I’m OK. Fine. But let’s not kid ourselves, my uncle didn’t get raped because he thought bad thoughts.

“Arm & Hammer”
Some kids are allergic to peanut butter. Other kids are allergic to pollen. One kid was allergic to fluoride toothpaste, so he carried white baking-soda in a zip-lock bag, which they mistook for cocaine. Snorting 8 grams of Arm & Hammer is not in this poem; Annandale-on-the-Hudson is.

“Impossible Joy”
Baseball formed a mystic bond between me and my father. And even during the toughest stare-down days, a good Dodgers game would get us to speaking. But new terms were invented when Kirk Gibson hit that home run. On October 15, 1988, euphoria was given a new name: Chang-Family. And Vin Scully held the chord.

“Good Guy with a Gun”
I don’t know much, but I do know that placing an armed guard in front of every school in America is a _______ idea.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 39 | Winter 2013