Origin Stories – Jonathan Yungkans

Origin Stories for May
    Duplex Beginning with a Line by Paul Vangelisti* 
    by Jonathan Yungkans

    The progress of remorse and dripping faucets
    deepens a sharp-edged furrow between rocks on

              anxiety’s edge. eroding my neighbor.
              My neighbor’s forehead is where grass bleeds. It’s his

    clue I’m wasting hemoglobin, to be more
    diligent on sprinkler heads— leaky sprinklers

              an overbearing, offensive sign of grief—
              like dragging my mother’s corpse across the lawn,

    dragging her past yellow and deep-red roses
    bordering my subconscious. Thorns on his last

              nerve prick and flowers weep like paid mourners, which 
              add to overwatering and the rust stain

    down my bathroom sink, age and old galvanized
    grief in joint freefall from faucet down a drain.

      *Taken from the poem “After Ennio Correnti, 1947-1997,” in the collection Days Shadows Pass.
        Previously published in Book of Matches, Issue 6 (Fall 2022).

Origin Stories – Duplex Beginning with a Line by Paul Vangelisti

I have had a long history of using quotes as springboards for my creative subconscious. This is one of a series of poems in duplex form, inspired by quotes from other writers, which also coincided with the passing of my mother in January 2022. It combines personal grief and its potentially erosive qualities with the near-devotional predilection for outward show (in this case, perfectly manicured lawns and gardens) over sincere concern and compassion for our immediate neighbors. The two themes are combined in unconventional and surreal ways, both verbally and visually. The neighbor’s forehead, bleeding as stigmata, is associated with mown grass and lawn sprinklers. It is also linked as religious iconography to the crown of thorns placed on Jesus prior to His crucifixion and to tears shed in weeping. The duplex poetic form was created by Jericho Brown in 2018 and combines aspects of the sonnet, ghazal, and blues poem in a circular stricture, with the opening line repeated or referenced in the closing one and the closing line of one two-line echoed in the opening line of the following stanza. While I have played loosely with some aspects of this form, I have also stuck rigidly to its overall intent and to the nine-to-eleven-syllable line length endemic to the blues poem as emphasized by Brown.


Jonathan Yungkans listens to the pouring Southern California rain in the wee hours of what some call morning and others some mild form of insanity and types while watching a large skunk meanders under the foundation of a century-old house. He is thankful when his writing is less noxious than that jittery creature on the other side of those floorboards. During what some choose to call normal hours, he works as an in-home health-care provider, fueled by copious amounts of coffee while finding time for the occasional deep breath. His poems have appeared in Gyroscope Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Panoply, Unbroken, and other publications.

Gyroscope Review Spring 2023 Issue Now Available

Previous Origin Stories

April 1 – Wanda Praisner

April 2 – Howard Lieberman

April 3 – L. Shapley Bassen

April 4 – Sharon Scholl

April 5 – Stellasue Lee

April 6 – Jeanne DeLarm

April 7 – Virginia Smith

April 8 – Patricia Ware

April 9 – Mary Makofske

April 10 – Ann Wallace

April 11 – Jessica Purdy

April 12 – Lakshman Bulusu

April 13 – Kim Malinowski

April 14 – Anita Pulier

April 15 – Martha Bordwell

April 16 – Anastasia Walker

April 17 – Annette Sisson

April 18 – Shaheen Dil

April 19 – Claudia Reder

April 20 – Cathy Thwing

April 21 – Sarah Snyder

April 22 – Susan Barry-Schultz

April 23 – Laurie Kuntz

April 24 – Maryann Hurtt

April 25 – Yvonne Zipter

April 26 – Jess Parker

April 27thKelly Sargent

April 28thRobbi Nester

April 29thLaurie Rosen

April 30thJames Penha

May 1stOisin Breen

May 2ndJennifer Shomburg Kanke

May 3rdKaren Paul Holmes

May 4thJudy Kronenfeld

May 5thJulie Weiss

May 6thNancy Botkin

Previous NPM celebrations from Gyroscope Review

Let the Poet Speak! 2022

Promopalooza 2021

Poet of the Day 2020

Poets Read 2019

National Poetry Month Interview Series 2018

Book Links Party 2017

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