Summer 2015

sound of chromosomes

No matter how hard one tries to expel nomenclature, the minor keys linger in all-night gas stations.


you are a brush of calligraphy
sweeping designs across my belly
ink splattering circles and symbols
like a string of black lipped oyster pearls
strewn between my thighs

10 Ways to Get Her

You should ask yourself: do you really want to get a woman like this? Do you really want to get/win her? Do you really want to get/understand her? If you are the type of person who likes the status quo, she will soon frustrate you. If you like dainty and domestic, you’d best look elsewhere. Hers is a wild spirit—any attempts to help/control/change her will end in a mess. If you are a fan of Pygmalion, do not mistake her for Eliza Doolittle.

Death of the Little Self

There are no I’s in these poems / there are only eyes in these poems. My gaze is exact, though my reliance is on another layer, another fold—I take these stories from the evening news, from the digital newspaper reports. My images come through a glass lens, the distance of mechanics complete: camera’s wandering eye, the flattened landscape of a monitor. I think, over and over: This isn’t my story to tell.

Boob Party

Immediately, I knew I had made the wrong choice. My own need for transparency and truthfulness had not taken into consideration their potential for horror, shock, disgust, and confusion. My younger daughter cried and wanted to snuggle her head in my lap. My older daughter looked absently around the room. There was a long silence, punctuated only by my younger daughter’s whimpers. This was beyond their comprehension, beyond their level of understanding. I had crossed the line, shown them a monster.

Forgiveness / Hurry, Love

Did you think your hand
could rearrange the world
with no consequence?
That I’m just some damn doll,
some pupa, sold
on not eating?

The Writer’s Wife

How must she have felt, their second child thrashing

inside of her—did she already agree with him


that her happiness lay in sleep? In dreaming

of lying in some other room, of a less fickle moon?

Requiem / Take Your Daughter to Work

Later that Crayola morning, Wonder Woman coloring
book and a stack of DC Comics spread across the
black soapstone counter in her lab, her fascination
with cells never quite translated when I preferred
story, a woman who deflected bullets with her wrists,
an Amazon island forbidden to men, a goddess

Emily and the Red Snow / Emily and the Threshers

The men know the truth of twine, cut and tie, chaff and straw, the bundles shat and separated. In the yellow air visions mingle. Animal and plant. Who does the workhorse see with his broad eyes? What stops the sky from slipping off earth’s yolk?

Artist Feature: Stephen Skowron

Selections of digital photography from the installation “Transmutation”—Stephen Skowron (with Stephanie Booth).

Metallic / Unicorn Motherfucker

Every day is a Friday we say before the aftermath and chocolate kisses on her thighs,

The rotting lemons pimped out suns that don’t orbit.

Endlessly Repeating

Slowly and deliberately, her lips began to move. Soft words fell from her mouth and were cast out to sea by the deafening sound of the ocean’s lullaby. Her eyes steadfastly held their gaze. Her strong, tanned shoulders squared off in defiance with the immensity before her.

Blood Flows Upstream

Don’t just stand there in the doorway. Come in! I told Suzanne you could visit because I’d like to talk to you about something. Please,

The Derailment of the Mikado

Ten minutes before the program was scheduled to begin, the Mikado rested on its side—black, sleek, and quiet. The technician stood on a stool, leaning