Posts for June 1, 2018


Plus Sized Capers

Do your parents know
where you are,
dollar bills tucked in
tight spaces, 
burlesque pasties swinging
without missing a beat.
How some smells
never change with time,
like alcoholic drinks and Pinesol on cement floors,
except now Iʻm drinking coffee on a Friday night,
hauled out past my bedtime,
my virgin experience wondering
if drag queens at Sound Bar donʻt make more cash,
and if those “girls” coulda been young enough
to be my daughters. 


Summer Without An Apocalypse

The pantry moths would spill out from the cabinets,
like the flour itself had come alive and taken flight.
Every surface sodden with pangs of yearning,
each one related, but as unique as 
another son or daughter. Worn, dull
hardwood, creaking and prone
to splinters; heavy 
tile, cool and substantial; rough 
nubs of carpet, smelling of ash and beer and dust:
the soles of my feet remember such despair.
The red curtains would wave 
gentle in any breeze; fabrics would grow
damp and clammy at the first hint of storm.
There were so many that summer, the kind
that swelled high at the fronts, tall rounded plumes of black, pregnant with tornado winds and meretricious thunder.
We’d watch listlessly
from the bungalow porch, him pacing
and me lying back on the tattered sofa,
high as a kite, talking about how to store food in the basement
in case of Armageddon. It was going to be me, him, my son and the little black cat called kitty
against the whole wide world. Eventually, he would retreat,
and I’d be left to myself. I’d rub my hand
along the old wooden stereo cabinet
where we listened to Adele and Art Bell, and
I would ache for him to touch me.
He had told me he was scared, and though it made me angry
then, and I called him a coward, I suppose
that was the most honest either of us ever was,
in that summer without an apocalypse.


The Wrong House

With morning,
I wake feeling as if
I have been rattling around
in someone else’s house all night.

Their family smell
clings to my hair and
cloaks me through the
first hours of my day.

Every family has a scent,
the mingling of
washing powders and jobs
and tasks and the same meals
on endless repeat,
that marks them each
with their tribal signature
so they may find their way home again.

I am a night traveler.

Waking unsettled,
I am sick with the feeling
of reeling and spinning.
there is a longing to be home
but I am not sure which is mine,
and a fear of what was lost,
but I am not sure which is mine.


To the Seniors Who Just Graduated

May tonight be the bottom rung
of a tall ladder instead
of the peak of a tall mountain

May the walk across the stage
be the beginning of a long race
and not the last long lap



I liked how you made me feel drunk-
my head would fill with cotton candy clouds
and thoughts that turned to smoke.

The wine went down easy
in little droplets of pure bliss,
sliding down our throats.

But there was an understanding we shared
from the very beginning
that this love could only be short-lived.

One day, the liquor didn’t go down easy anymore,
and it was hard and bitter like a shot of malört
with an aftertaste that lingered.

it faded away into nothing.

And the hurt wasn’t there anymore.


a warm up

the difference between winter 

and summer runs deeper 

than chapped lips and salty drips

december’s drinks are thicker,

layered with foam and sugar

may’s music is brighter, 

latinx with horns and marimba 

november’s known for burning

leaves and nausea

june’s jinxed with jealousy

30 day beach bod


Wild Hare or Wild Hair



Wild Hare or Wild Hair


She asked

“Hey, Einstein?”


I turned away from the pile

Of the things which had fueled us

Love notes and cds about to be burned 


“‘Blonde on Blonde’ is yours”


The flame eats the match

While I contemplate impulse control 






drinking stream 1


and different places to stay. i found out the other day my eyes aren’t brown from someone who knows me very well. i was shocked that i didn’t know they were actually brown. the idea of bringing it up made me cringe. in conversations with strangers in the city ive realized we identify most strongly with the places we have left. conversation excerpts of different people.

Born in Mexico and they were supposed to name me Vanessa. The neighbor’s baby was named Vanessa first, so I’m just [omitted]. Then we moved to the suburbs up here. Then I’m here? I guess.

I don’t go to college here, I’m just back for the summer. I go to this small liberal arts college out in Iowa. A lot more orgies. That’s a joke, sorta.

Honestly, I just miss the warm weather down there. I don’t even feel Southern.

tying back with any type of point: the disassociation from stop to stop, from switching modes of public transportation, from fixing the curls in your hair using the snapchat face camera as a mirror just so you appear more symmetrical, from untangling iphone headphones with too many crinkles and bends. the honest truth? in comments we learn more about the entirety of a person’s life instead of being friends or lovers with them. what is there to lose in strangers aside from some time for something else. someone i spoke to during my trip told me that it was weird. what is weird? do you love anyone? are you feeling happy right now? what is honestly the worst thing happening in the world right now? i cannot imagine asking someone i know well any of those questions.

It Is Easier to Drink And Talk About What We Know. a stranger has everything i cant look up on the internet. Here Are Facts:           
The average person will remember around 150 people they have met over the course of their life. The president of the United States right now has a degree in economics. Marawi was officially declared won by President Duterte. Two million people were displaced by two thousand. They say the fighting was worse than the Second World War. Somehow I believe it. You will forget your closest friends. The TI-84 Plus CE will do the entirety of any entry intermediate level college math class. In 2015, the John Cena meme was the peak of comedy. Now I had to google it to remember it. The peak of comedy in 2017 is a meme about making fun of a cartoon, about making fun of a cartoon. Nobody thinks drugs are interesting anymore. A tiny body drowned on a Mediterranean shore was shared faster on social media accounts than John Cena memes. Someone asked me about the Syrian Civil War the other day, and I said, “That’s still going on?” Global warming. The Kurds somehow still don’t have their independence, not even as a reward to clearing IEDs in Iraqi cities.




During a summer thunder storm

frantic robins more brown than red

flew into and out of wildly waving pine branches

flew into and out of wet white clover and grass

and as I watched finally I saw what they saw—

their not quite grown fledglings

one huddled as close to the pine’s trunk

as possible, another in the pounded grass,

others, I supposed, higher in the tree

and some floundering in the rain

their little wet bodies puffed out

bracing with what life gives. 



Melva Sue Priddy



this is where it begins
it’s dark here, where all breathing echoes
this is the point where you start.

you find yourself here because there is nowhere else.
after all your other paths failed.
I’m bringing you back up

leading you, and everyone to an oasis. a constant
marble of wonder. something bright and new
so that, there again, can be light in your eyes.