Author: Justin Karcher

Justin Karcher is currently working from home. Since he is no longer spending time getting to and from work, he is finding some extra time to work on his poetry.

I’ve started a new project: writing poems about interesting local/regional businesses. I think an important and yet underutilized function of art is to shed light on all the wonderful entrepreneurs and business owners we have in the region. A poem is an exercise in creative publicity, a small way to help keep a door open, because without these people and places, Western New York would be a lot less inspirational. Remember, we’re in this together. Located in Lancaster, I was blown away by LIlly Belle Meads when I stumbled upon it last month. Owned and operated by Patricia and Joe Marshall, Lilly…

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When the Bills lose against the Chiefs, I don’t even reach for the remote to turn off the TV, at this point in my life constant disappointment has blessed me with telekinesis I can move things with my broken heart, we all can in Buffalo, after the screen goes dark, I move through the house like a Victorian ghost, putting on my Jon Snow coat my snow boots and venture out into the night not quite single digits but it’s getting there in times of great collapse, I look for community the footprints in snow that lead you somewhere but…

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Buffalo Bills beat Baltimore Ravens advance to first AFC Championship game since 1993, reports of fireworks being set off across Western New York the sky blasted into tiny pieces the sea-creatures of the Southern Tier swimming to the surface after years of drowning and the oxygen tastes so, so good a necessary relief from all the disappointment we’ve experienced God, government, the gridiron it’s all been a mess a huge understatement, I know but they’re important, the little things that give us hope, and when Taron Johnson snatched that pick 6, it felt like a miracle like a dream where…

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It’s an hour before the first Bills game of the Covid season and I’m standing out on the back deck in the concussed sunlight using my iPhone camera to stare at my face and give myself a pep talk it’s okay to admit you’re desperate it comes in waves a beer-tsunami throwing lame ducks into your orbit you come back, you always do like a ghost haunting the realms of hope always on a scavenger hunt for that winning feeling I won’t deny who I am half my bones are already buried under New Era Field a sloppy collage of…

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This is what happens when a patriot turns into a buccaneer when you’re privileged enough to seek safety or solace on the open sea while the rest of us are having nervous breakdowns but still tailgating on crumbling docks despite more important things to focus on we stop everything just to watch Tom Brady escape New England land of the pilgrims pride sports journalists are describing his escape as earth-shattering but that seems insulting yet here we are Tom will be a pirate for about $30 million a year while the rest of us are struggling to make ends meet…

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Josh Allen is the quarterback I deserve. Now let me explain. I’m an alcoholic and while watching the wild card game between the Bills and Texans, I realized something: this wasn’t just a playoff game; this was a gridiron manifestation of my addiction, my devil, whatever you want to call it. Josh Allen’s game was like a night out drinking for me. And maybe for you, too. It all starts out so promising. A 42-yard run. All that talent on display! You walk into a bar and everybody knows your name. And they all want to talk to you. The…

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“I was horrified and soul-crushed recently by the 8 heroin/fentanyl overdoses in a 12-hour span and wrote the following poem.” – Justin Karcher Poet: Justin Karcher Tonight the sky flows over Buffalo, NY Like a river of wasps that you have to inhale deeply. I’m stung by the splendor of a sudden emptiness When I step out the door clutching a flask filled to the shoulders With the 50-million-year-old sperm I found at the bottom of Lake Erie. In a few short hours, I’ll be drunk on the prehistoric abandonment Finally courageous enough to scratch the rash of heroin overdoses. Tearing apart the city…

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The following poem was composed by Justin Karcher, the recent winner of the 2015 Just Buffalo Literary Center members’ writing competition. The poem is an ode to a changing Buffalo (about Rust Belt love, a road trip through a changing Queen City landscape, the divinity of Dominik Hasek, and the mortuary that is the Pink…) As a city rapidly changes, so does the literature inspired by it. On the night that the greatest goalie ever Dominik Hasek’s number is being retired, I’m driving drowsy around Downtown Buffalo listening to the radio coverage And thinking about that phantom toe save that…

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