Posts for June 23, 2015

HB Elam

fetching the fucking weather

i pick out clothes
for travel
like tarot cards 

predictions of a future i wish
i could have–
best preparations
for the unknown

HB Elam

halt die freße

The day my mamaw dies
isn’t the day the casket closes
and the earth covers her
claiming her for good–or the hour
her breating stops and
our bated breath begins; nor is it the 
moment the last picture of her fades into nothing,
when the water erases her name
from the stone remembrance of her essence
when the last whisper of Inge leaves
the lips of her descendants; no,
the day my mamaw dies is the day the cooking ceases,
and the trembling hands tremble too much,
the moment the last light lingers
on her grandchildrens’ faces that
hits her aging eyes, the instant
that final German word is translated
for those of us who don’t understand;
it’s the morning walk not journeyed,
the dirty dish not cleaned,
the messy table not emptied,
the kitchen crumbs not swept;
at those minutes, all is lost,
she is gone; 
the rest is just time.

HB Elam

overly concerned

all my life, every

every group
every body
has been
     overly concerned
with my body
and what I do with it
why do you care
who I am
who I love
who I fuck
fuck you, every
who tries to control my
“is that a boy 
or a girl, I can’t tell”
as if I must be either/or
“I heard he likes
*insert male
euphemism here*”
as if I must be
by what I put in my mouth
my god judges me
not by what I put in
my mouth but by
what comes out
I wouldn’t come out,
crying under the covers, my mother
telling me maybe it’s “just a phase”
asking me if I had “experimented”
and the shakes of my head
under covers
in the darkness
shook her to the core
split her son 
into two
one half hers
and the other not
some foreigner inhabiting
what once inhabited her
we do not talk of such things
we do not talk much at all
they do not ask about my “sex life”
we never had “the talk”
forced to rely on the network
of information too tempting to resist
of chat rooms where I bared a soul
my parents refuse to see
I am an “abomination”
I have “intimacy issues”
I “hook up”
I “sin”
when he puts it in
and the real me comes out
too scared to be him
around them
around anyone
I don’t feel much of anything
anymore, as if I ever did
playing a part in a play
that you wouldn’t let me write
I didn’t audition
for this
for any of it
this life, your life
and you won’t let me out
I’m out, I’m done
I’m me and I won’t fall in
in your line anymore
fuck you
I was never overly concerned with you 
your opinion

HB Elam

summer soundtrack

press 1 ’cause that’s
where you put your favorite bands,
modulated frequencies coasting
as you cruise
over the fresh oil and
the turtle on its back
tiger lilies lining the runway,
aimed at some destination–
like David’s stone, it hits you
right between the eyes

and yet, there is no coherence,
just the drumbeat of the
cosmic public radio
vying for your sensate self–
you hear a tuba swell then
“we could of had it all” then
static sizzling in stereo
on and on and on and on and
recursive (turtles all the way down)
playing, for no one in particular,
a sound inchoate,
distinct, but still,
still, still, 
with a still dynamism all its own, 
a pedagogic delta of ever increasing entropy
and then, from nowhere “I’m Lakshmi Singh”
and then returned to nowhere yet again,
replaced, resounding,
with chaotic nothings
the universe whispers into my ear
reminding me
this is not the best of all possible worlds
but only one-
but only one-
but it is mine

Katrin Flores

Infatuation: French

I’m hit like coupe de foudre
{lighting bolt strikes}
Choosing has 
a rose-tinted arrow
pointed at my pupil.

Un, deux, trois,
my tongue is a tangle 
of recorded strips that doesn’t know
whether the tape plays
en français ou
en anglais

Dangerfield Yella

cup of change

on the counter is life
hands that once made underground 
terminations now count a few
quarters dimes nickels and pennies to keep
from going under

Dangerfield Yella


no one ever tells you about having
a broke(n) heart. cardiologist said i need to
rest. something that i've rarely done is
now the silver lining.  if i only i could smelt clouds 
down to pay bills.  maybe then i will. rent
this life a little longer. 

Gaby Bedetti


This morning I sat under our swamp oak
on one of the stumps
saved in tribute to our late yellowwood,
now mulch in some other corner of the yard.

These stumps recollect sheltering shadows,
clusters of fragrant, pea-like flowers,
a shower of white then yellow
delicate winter branches,
the hammering of woodpeckers,
diving squirrels.

Already, busy carpenter ants invade
its remains, grinding
it down to

Carole Johnston


midnight girl
sleeping on a park bench
stained glass wings
glitter in the dark like
a butterfly cathedral
no hate can break her

Len Lundh


She’s not a caldera, a magma chamber,
an expanding and invasive lava field.
She is all of these, and something. 

She is heat that will devour everything
if you don’t get gone right now. 

She is heat that will swallow all you are,
all you ever were and ever will be,
no remorse, none, if you don’t run. 

Not that it matters. Your fate is sealed,
your heart is soiled with ash already. 

If you do run, even if you do act smart,
she’ll still be heat, heat that will make you
ache with desire for what could burn.