Posts for June 18, 2018

Bronson O'Quinn

haiku #4

squeeze your soft belly
head on your chest, as always
our breathing gets synced


burning up

i dreamed of winter fire
and woke up drowned
in summer sweat.
the heat was real, i know it.
i felt it, but like January
instead of June.
i saw the flame leap up angry
out of the woodstove.
i caught a noxious whiff
of singed, stray hairs.
a slip of paper smoldered

in amongst the ashes.
i recognized my chicken scratch
and your incendiary name.
i woke up drowned in summer sweat
but couldn’t stop the cold chill
sliding down my slick spine.




Privacy settings
Privacy policies
Terms like this make me wonder if I have any real privacy at all.


The secret is…

I am not very smart.
I pass for high I.Q. but

the machinations of finer things befuddle me.

I cannot tell where they stop or start.

I do not appreciate jazz.

I borrow code that I know works

and quell the beast that I know lurks-


waiting for me to sbow a piece of tender flesh.

Unable to explain black holes, grasp differential equations,

or be conversant in military history-

I play a good game, but stay puzzled

a lot.


Simultaneously Holy Shit

Hate begets hate and you beget me and 
how many times in our nine months of knowing 
have I answered a question with 
the words because I know you?

I know you, not anymore because we 
haven’t talked in weeks except 
the occasional desperately cheery text 
message that can be described as nothing more than 

Can you imagine? Coordinating 
with someone you’ve loved so much on 
a rooftop that the idea of an electric death didn’t 
even scare you.

I think I will run into you one 
day at an Alabama gas station five hundred 
miles from anywhere either of us should be and 
we will look at each other and say 
holy shit. 


Four Ways of Looking at a Photograph

The red-shirted child screams
while in the darkness
of the photograph.
I cannot hear her. 

We do not see their faces
in the sanctioned photographs.
They do not want us to see

The memory of my grandmother
pointing out the photograph
of her brother-in-law
in his Nazi uniform. She said
he was required to join.

The flames devoured the paper
on which the photographs
were printed. 
Thank god for the negatives.


It’s In My Blood

My body betrayed me. 

Allowed pain into my bloodstream

Shut off all the safety switches

Now we’ve been compromised. 


It tells me there’s a fire below 

So I open up the windows and try to signal for help 

It tells me there’s ice above

So I duck and cover 

It pulls all the alarms and panics in its own chaos 


And When the dust settles

I expected a sinister virus to have started this sickness 

But I find nothing but my own body to blame. 


Twenty-six in a Fishbowl Year

Twenty-six in a Fishbowl Year 




My mother makes her own two-layer birthday cake

and I am hanging around with the others for the spoon, 

the bowl or one of the beaters to lick. 


I ask how old she is—all I know

is that she is older and taller than me. 

She says twenty-six


and I can imagine twenty-six but not

twenty-six years old—she is so old.  I wonder

how it will feel to be twenty-six


someday.  But the year I turn 

twenty-six, I confuse myself.

Going through a divorce


and moving my little ones 

a hundred miles away, I think twenty-

seven all year long.  Totally miss twenty-six. 





Melva Sue Priddy


A Crushed Cry


a blurry mess 

coping like nailing 

a tear to a wall

as countless fall

trying but failing

at very best

nightmare, Wake!


Haiku 1

lollipop swirls
and red ribbons tied around 
each of her fingers