Unabomber Pantoum

       The Unabomber’s cabin: deciduous, land plotted.
       Scholars upended it, delved symbols in scratch marks.
       Some Montanas you can’t equate,
       plume manifestos cobbled from the scaffold of last renown.

       Devalued syllables end up scrap metal,
       a powder keg flawed by furtive links.
       Most scoffed at the plume’s manifest, denounced it as gaffe.
       An aerie’s slum, his cedar shack

       a furtive pewter flawed by cognate links.
       Theorem to fuse: his backstory, cadenced math.
       Cedar arias hummed in a shack,
       their phonemes left a glycerin trace,

       fuse theory condensed to backwood math.
       Bomb-carbon’s tinder to a lone plat,
       its phoneme left of a Luddite glyph.
       Some mountains you can’t equate.


Unabomber Speech Act

       It’s not that sibling a deal,
                   turning your flesh and bomb over.

       What nitro is to technology,
                   we are to family.

       David, if you were the most wanted
       would I burden you to a life

                   of lockdown in this Supermax
       erasing me? Contraband Montanan,

       like napalm in a needlestack
                   I manifesto myself free.


Tankas for Armageddon Housekeeping

       We stave archangels
       with lye, ask whether Clorox
       is haints sweeping at
       surface malice, abetting
       a serum thru threnody.

                   *

       Scour the bunker then
       evanesce; father, bristle,
       and ammonia-son.
       The laundry chute embalmed as
       museum to end-clothes flocks.

                   *

       We let bygones be
       dendrites, wondered when I’d hold
       the prayer shawl made of
       peroxide wipes. A psalm’s cleft
       palate, book-enveloped wax.

                   *

       A kitchen psychic
       takes vibes to a paring knife
       (birth signs impression-
       ing the pie crust), bifurcates
       a cutting board’s afterlife.

                   *

       Mason jars – basement
       answer to terracotta
       warriors. Edicts
       near the air pump; ferrymen
       repent, coxswain the tool bench.


Jon Riccio studied viola performance at Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute of Music. A PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers, his work appears in apt, Booth, Cleaver, CutBank Online, Switchback, Redivider, and Waxwing, among others. He received his MFA from the University of Arizona.
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