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Just One Thing with Justin Jannise


Pay no attention to the calendar -- we're still celebrating our November issue over here! And what an issue it is. We're so thrilled to bring you this month's featured poem, "An Extra Heart," by Justin Jannise. And not only is Justin known for his wonderful poetry, but he's also pretty known for his shirt collection. Recently, Justin shared with us a peek at his collection and just one thing about "An Extra Heart:"

"My poem owes a debt to a Subreddit called r/2healthbars, which is named after this video game phenomenon: ''When you think you've killed a boss, but then it starts a new phase with another health bar.’’ A friend pointed it out to me when I mentioned, probably for the hundredth time, how much it delights me when drag queens reveal a hidden wig under an outermost wig. It’s a form of surprise that gets me every time, emphasis on the word “form.” The next time I get to teach to a poetry writing class, I want to ask students to consider how we might think of form less as structure or shape or meter, and more as a kind of repeatable — and inexhaustible — way to produce a specific effect. Comedians understand this when they write one-liners, as do political speech-writers when they intend a rousing line to be followed by applause. The r/2healthbars Subreddit shows us countless examples of a form we might not consider to be poetic, but I think it has poetic potential."


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