“I Lost It At The Feelies” by James Penha

It’s come to this: not only does he tweet
while we eat
and face his other friends far more
than he chats with me
he wants whatsapp in the dark
of theatres and at concerts he buries
his head in his lap to hear
how the singers sound on youtube.
We dine out so he can check in,
travel for the sake of selfies
and grist for the grindr.
When we have sex to the porn
on his laptop he leaves a corner
of the screen for instagram. Last night
as we sat on the couch, my dick
high in his ass, hands on his breasts, he came
screaming OMG OMG Lin-Manuel liked
my pic.


A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his LGBT speculative story “Leaves,” also set in Indonesia, was a finalist for the Saints and Sinners Short Fiction Contest and so appears in the Saint & Sinners Literary Festival 2017 anthology. His essay “It’s Been a Long Time Coming” was featured in The New York Times “Modern Love” column in April 2016. Penha edits TheNewVerse.News, an online journal of current-events poetry. @JamesPenha