“And yes,/I still see spirits by the fireplace. A whole orgy/of voluptuous ghosts eating honey roasted peanuts.”
“wheel chair/accessible/*back entrances”
“You have/a sans-serif face; I wanna check out/your cerebrospinal fluid.”
“People bloom and divide like kaleidoscope beads around her blond yellow bead head.”
“in the cobbler I baked a part of me/was not sure you would have a piece/because I could have been//alone.”
“I’ve seen a boy go missing inside himself, so I searched for him/in cracked church bells & shot-out light bulbs.”
“She knows/how to mouth no, the shape/of her lips an opening pit…”
“& I’m tuned into/the cicadas,/wanting to join/but what part/of the body/makes a sound/so primordial”
“Who wants a body that/wants this much to be alive?”
“No. I drank the oldest lake because it was either drink that or the drink the oldest sea and I’d already drank the oldest sea a few months ago…"
I wait for my drink and slip into a fever dream
My memory is made consumable by your hand.
your couscous still lingering, icebound, in the freezer
The moon was so dry it turned into a dandelion.
Our state flower is wild and we are western honey bee and sunflower until sundown.
alphabet soup what were / you trying to say before
like blank eyes and forced smiles in response to microaggressions
redness is to restlessness as _________ is to sightlessness
Judy had a bad habit of leaving finished drinking receptacles in her own car
“Mohammed Rasulu Allah,” (Mohammed is the messenger of God) she enunciated, giggling.
Dangle from a hook and shape-shift between noun and adjective
I know these rivers that flow through me / I’ve gazed out from their hearts and still you do not see me
They were no less fragile than us, these creatures, / but they seemed better used to staring down a fast / coming death.
It’s Sugar features a giant / blond plump lips parted, sucking a lollipop
I said to my partner yesterday, I want to die. / He said do you want to go to the hospital.
Then I wait, a woman / alone, hoping / to have touched the heart / of the widower.
maybe it is time for me to write poems for You. The Somebody Else. / i need to find a way to eat what comes out of me. The Wonder
CREW: (From the grid) It’s sweet that you think you / can break the fourth wall.
The horse stood trembling, had caught his leg in a toothed snare intended for the fox, / and she limped
you can take the boy / but the heckie naw stays / announcing his nation
white woman says that i would look so beautiful if only i took the time to straighten my hair
My priestess fries her perfect / eggs-in-a-nest: a seeping well, / saturating seams of crust.
At the duplicating center I work for, sometimes customers will leave behind important legal or personal documents
it was like in that moment, / the demon crawled out / of my chest to set a colorless fire / to my face and said believe her
Not all clouds is something I might add, as a postscript, not all clouds
ma said don’t touch don’t scratch don’t
you can return to masonry / be a gavel
At sixteen, she’s still new to this nation that un-names her daily.
trying to contain expansion means explosion
Our son will have solar flare / freckles splattered on his cheeks
THEM TOO I cannot take what isn’t a gift. Socket, Stiff dance, misdeed, a half intelligible embrace. Mistakenly, see what we have made. The wind Piles into sonorous, explicit columns. Just as we were [...]
My mother always laughs / when she tells that story.
I call you Ella from your very beginning
yellow almonds, middle eastern eyes
the women did not flee Mosul because they became of wings
I told father and things came flowing out of our red front door
Ghosts are like our otherselves in the multiverses grown
In the ghost town, a way station until E.’s wedding, you keep your vow to a dry-tongued silence.
My spoiled teeth suck down brawny intrusions.
I wish I did not negotiate my body like a capitalist always fearing my scarcity
hammered into the wall of the coffin pit picked up by me as you wandered as far along the rails as needed.
Between my fingers is a veil through which I may glimpse the sun.
Nobody is surprised. Nobody even tries to leave.
His mother kept two cockatoos in her bedroom. They sometimes shat on her bed, nightstand, on framed pictures of Angelito’s grandfather.
When the rhino broke its way out of your body / it broke its horn off too
I am failing to speak the language but I know now it is possible
But of course I cannot be every / body for you, you cannot be every / body for me; souls are slippery like minnows, they have no fleshy handles, there is nothing to hold to pull your soul deeper inside
& I’m not hearing All You Wanted by Michelle Branch or what about my skin or religion needs to be rescued
"folks care more about cars than they do bodies"
I am sure that my blonde hair is beautiful but the beauty of my other physical attributes I am much less sure of
Ugolino is a no-eyed man who jumps on his children
At the fading light bring to her the wolfish mouth of your need.
closed eyes to the watchers in the shadows angels formed in angles beneath the glittering opal
i awoke to the sound of a neighbor crying someone’s suffering is combing my hair
Sometimes when I enter a room, I pretend Zamunda from Coming to America is a real place.
If I could be seen as a force instead of an object instead of a hobby, if I could just do without having to be seen, or if it didn’t matter to me at all, I could be invincible.
black out the windows but the storm is in the house lightning in the bathtub rain over the carpet
Is it because always running is a cliché? And clichés are a rerun of something different? And since you were a boy, did they feed you questionable
i went to see the wizard & asked him for a cock he must have seen by the scuffs on my knees that i really needed one because he said ok
my small fingers curl around a cow’s teat. i point / it in the direction of the pail below. i don’t want to hurt
an animal on stilts reaches the virgin’s tears / and tenderly wipes them. / the virgin cries tres monjitas milk, without coffee.
Someplace else enrages the turtle why a turtle a turtle never did anything to me okay then an old white man with a sign.
Geoffrey, sometimes I think I wear my sadness like caul fat. / Like how a fetal pig never asks to be dressed
Despite everything, my parents raised me. / They even loved me. These things / should always be surprising.
When E is gone / and left / who will I be?
I watched a woman become gore under microscopes, / glowing skin a subterfuge of dust and memory.
all of the lights in the store have gone burnt / dim gaping shelves bent back like bones / breathing fruit rot and dust and no one
What is the problem what is it I ask myself day after day it does not change / I walk through the rooms of my house I open the windows though it is cold
The priest feels a softness washing the back of his neck. Maybe it is rain, he thinks, or sweat.
Self-Portrait with Tapestry and Severed Tongue The chasm of my empty mouth, a chalice flower gaping open in the dark. Was I guilty in this? Left alone ...........with him [...]
Anxious Diva tells me I’ve lost what’s fun about me. She says I’m flatter than death. Diva, help me cut these onions, help me feel arrhythmia, tell me how alive I want to be.
We cling to each other like / dust motes to light, and / fall the same way - slow and / landing in erratic patterns.
WE ARE BURYING THE HATCHET we are having a funeral for The Hatchet all The Hatchet's friends and family will be there we'll sing all The Hatchet's favorite songs someone will say The Hatchet was [...]
Triptych with Missing Limb 1 the overweight cannibals feed every fortnight the children frolic on our scalps this knocking is not a verb this silverware dances to get our attention the women come trotting [...]
. Claire Marie Stancek is the author of MOUTHS (Noemi Press, 2017). With Lyn Hejinian and Jane Gregory, she is co-editor and co-founder of Nion Editions, a chapbook press. With Daniel Benjamin, she co-edited an anthology [...]
. . Candace Williams is a black queer nerd living a double life. By day, she's a middle school humanities teacher and robotics coach. By night and subway ride, she's a poet. Her poetry has appeared in Hyperallergic, [...]
Mealtime Love something tender, chewy, broken in. Translates to ache without border, expectation blooming to fit the space it’s assigned. Her name is overcooked. Say it anyway: bright, memorised, some kind of holy. [...]
Polarized Thinking Sometimes I think Therapist is God even though her name is Lisa. God would want to hear about a real experience: Biggie’s 80s night, two drunk girls kissing. Lisa wants to talk [...]
sweeping the floors after dusk isn’t easy, the frangipani petals still fragrant, still usable, when
frogs of lead who bust up your skinny lip by agreement, the paradisiac fields excised, the empty spaces removed from our carapace. a better future for the region. international niceness studies. shuffle up, smaller fry, [...]
Inspiration: Fat We enjoy a woman Who withers Her roadkill eyes woozy Amethyst druzy cunt Thighs so small They ignore each other Share no secrets It takes practice To ignore the obsidian Fist [...]
knows this road where it leads us home cocooned we watch our wings we grow we sleep rise and shine
bodyslam glam for Cassandro & all the queer exóticos Papá always counted to three before he’d lay a hand on me. The sharp stench of tequila slipping through his lips, no slur in his [...]
lexicon as i am owning up when i say catastrophe it is not exactly so, not even when trimming a jagged edge of road with a gearshift spurning its maker when i say untenable as an exhale [...]
i have a fever; i pray to Michael Stipe a father with only a voice. maybe you only exist in the sky, or some other endless space. maybe the couch my parents left [...]
aubade it’s a voicemail when I’m standing in line at the pharmacy I’m working things out. yeah, I know, darling leaving her is like driving a splinter out of the thick skin of [...]
The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows Prologue: Pine and sandalwood wrap deep L bend curves around one needle/ one wood chip / one black feather assembles ink quill / penetrates pores / [...]
but then i realized that my body isn’t permanent y’know like bodies how bodies are
Painkiller You tell me none of this will matter I remove my ribcage and scratch at the bone ............You said it was all plastic, it always has been my ribcage is [...]
0 missed calls, 5 days away & your names are already erased, A fine scattershot of white, Skyline fucking up the alpenglow, W/o speed, so few odes, ////New York & bad art like [...]