When they requested fingerprints,
you pressed down the mesh smile
of an unplugged speaker where dust
has long replaced the orchestras.
There’s an OtterBox instead of a skeleton,
says the signature. Do you need AAA?
answers the donor check. Measurements
as black holes of ink. Anything to claim yourself
a galaxy, a droid, or just a simple machine,
instead of a warbled voice going nowhere.
You had never tasted the ocean,
letting the waves flay open your youth
and settle their scales inside taste buds
like little eggs – weaving saline discovery
into a granular pelt. I used this moment
to explain the writing process as volcanic
islands – breaching humpbacks –
an archipelago of keys and letters.
I meant to imply it was deliberate and, eventually, cold.
Calculated. Gelatinous. To you, however,
I’m just slow and warm,
a pulsating earth passing the time on lukewarm sludge
until I’m molded into something a bit more divine
and the universe, frozen and misshapen, lets me hibernate
once more beneath the mantle.
Once in a blue moon, I’d like to call attention to works that have appeared elsewhere and the generous journals hosting them. In December, I’ve had three works appear through multiple outlets. Two of them are quite nascent. One of them has reincarnated into a new form. Glass is an especially intriguing outlet, since they would originally publish one poem a week every Wednesday. Please feel no pressure to look into these, as I aim to not only support my own name but promote just a handful of the dozens of journals I frequent.
Thank you sincerely for your time and the support. If you take away anything from this post, remember the small and large publishers alike, the pockets they empty, or the lives they dominate for the selfless proliferation of literature.
What are the symptoms of wanting
outlets to melt in your hand, stick
to your cheeks with cheap licorice?
I console my batteries like dying
crickets. Wait for that leg to sputter,
the mic in its thighs to gain power.
Pure water isn’t very conductive.
I dare you to drink from wetlands
that don’t transform your feet to rubber.
The electric tongue, stilled in new tar.
Lily pink lingers on your fingers, misty
on the matter if it was Advil or candy.
It’s not about healing anymore
but liquefying your spine into
rivers brimmed with biomass.
Cortices trail your shadow,
umbilical tastes left intact.
We develop from formulas
to recipes. We begin to jelly.
Lips fall from putty smiles. Nobody
sets. I melted for winter. You cook
cobweb smirks through bricks
like brown sugar: that ethereal
clanking when we clatter
like dropped lollipops,
how jawbreakers giggle
through vending machine intestines.
I’m made from homebrewed indulgence
and caramelized roadkill: bones jut forth
from bastardized earths
like sucrose mountains
peaked by broken teeth.
You are slimy with the gum of tomorrow.
Go home. This world infects your mouth
your tongue post-
marked by tires.
How many syllables am I
allowed to baptize?
Teething commas suck
void from the page
around ellipses’ breasts.
They pray for milk
like stars hunt hydrogen
or vultures for limps.
for nights when stallions blend
into the field, cool watercolors
such nights when saddles taste
like lemonade from the groves
instead of springs.
A sprig of lavender to summon
seasons, to trot the quilting sky
into the cortices
instead of dusk:
a tame pastel or pleasant scent
was never enough to slaughter
with a broken leg.