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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

J.E. O'Leary is a writer and musician based in Queens, NY. For over 20 years, he has been bringing his music and art to NYC’s stages, festivals, subway platforms, and gallery walls. His most recent book, What a Future, was released in December 2020. His website is His poetry has been featured in Pinky Thinker Press, Wild Roof, and the New Plains Review.

Cat with green eyes and black and gray stripes peeking over the edge of a wall. Only half of its head is visible.



frenzied predator claws

clacking madly against the

hardwood floors at 2 am

wake me up


our cat is bloodlusting after

some moth, some silverfish,




it's so primal to hear.


the back and forth means nothing

to me but i can appreciate the

terror on the other end, after all

who hasn't been minding their own business

in the shadows of early morning,

petulant, entitled, or

looking for scraps or

stumbling towards a subway

only to feel a madness

several orders of magnitude

removed from comprehensible  



i was always smart enough

or small enough


to evade, never the fittest

nor the sharpest, and

not the fastest,

just faster than the slowest

but yes i heard the clacking

and i too read the news

Header image pixabay

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