this was expected, floor knots of stomach in the bed, witching hour watching the flames eat the living, scorching and keeping the dread cresting into night hours, ravishing & craving pages of white screen & the arms of mothers lopped from hope, from one more told hysterics & hysteria & that she was false. Story of witches for our times, story without magic, story in which toxicity took over town & woman was burned in livestream while town became ash & became itself & restored what it called order but was really web cast over the streets, molasses into the eyes of children & brains of cats forming walkers in the streets at night, the curse upon the village, the scarecrow alive & high-stepping on the cobbles, shrieking about the evil of the witches while crunching on her bones, disorder in the cold heat, disorder in the witch-minds, hysteria on the walls, blood on the walls, blood in the air & floors whispering with the creaking of feet, leaking into the streets, leaking out into the vastness of her sobs, lost in the trees, molding into the scratches in the walls, screams into pillows and silence, stealing into the forest alone


& war comes here

& war comes here
“& war comes here”
’twas brilling / in the swamp-minds & milkskin-sunken planets of eyes / as it has always been / boogeymen six-times-salt from shoulder-backing, paranoia like alien abductor TV-screen madness in the black and whites / paranoia like a crawling on the skin / paranoia like the bowl-cut & backpack holding bullied kid isn’t the one you should be watching / paranoia like / paranoia / different looking / paranoia like bends on the knees and prays towards mecca paranoia, paranoia / spreading gas over the bees and they die as my hometown sinks into FOX induced hypnosis & / perfectly okay when surrounded by white & picketed faces / picket signs on white lawns like lone men standing / like the ones they are afraid of with the brown legs / like a prison of safety, prison of own invention, prison of own death-borne anxiety / because we seem to have deep-lake need for it like water, full up of it until drowning in hate-mud, / mind-killing like death of conscience, death of refugee / death of neighbor / death by numbness & apathy / slow death & choking death, familiar death & all so rotten, knell-death with the blood of enemies on our doors / & I know when they come knocking for me / it will be late / late in the night of their terrors / terrors like what they become when perceived-threat looks like uncaged-tiger springing from bully-pulpit vocal cords, springing into their midst / mauling without discrimination / & dragging bodies in chain-snake formation across white house lawn / across streets and the tongues of all who refused to move, refused to stand in fight-paralysis in front of the spitting creature & shout furiously back at it / to grow large enough, waving arms to make beast turn tail / make it shrink back into man / into child / into weak & recognizable worms of insecurity /
stomp it into dust & purge it
from America’s moulding veins


the crest flowers

the branches roll their sides inwards to the vessels

the mob is grasping into the depths, reaching through screams and the vocal tendons, they roar into lion paws and jackals, chimerae maw anger built on lack of education

hollow words on the pulpits, hollow words in the street, hollow words on the electronic screens and all the malice you’d like, they are carrying toe torches into her chambers

the fires beneath older money and the crumbling thrones, the white tide is returned, blooming a bloodwake from the desert of ash, flipping the kill switch, metal hordes ride out into the skies, dark’ning the sun and lacerating the earth’s heart, her seeds exploding beneath the soil and eaten by the grounds,

the future is living in the brains, sitting idly by the machine lover,

blacking out on the weekend and knitting apathy into the soot of bowls

lost are the best of days, when the roots grew from our father’s fingers,

carried forward on the backs of those they could easily ignore

there is anger in sight, deep on the horizon, broiling the lakes and

drowning the seas in fish gut foolishness, belching the clouds and we

are too late now

the river is high water and our blood is

too thick to move

we statue,

we like rock, &

we worn

to the bone



II. A Game of Chess

tear down the walls and eat

sandwiches in the corner store

discard the actor’s feel and look and sit in my chair

for me

take your legs and run them down the

sides of the bed like you’ve been here before, the press is close

enveloping the moon from all sides there is numbness and clutching

scraping marble and calls for fallen horses

the sobbing fingers move closer like lumbering giants

pressing reckless luck into faux fur rushing into the chests

meeting the god’s pearls

and pushing the memories from stuck hippocampus,

back, back, back in the clashing lights

the dimness crushes my skull

the answer is

cross legged in my parent’s armchair

centering the room in the corner

queen-bold and ivory as

the midwest

storms back into my sheets.




beware the sharp love

caution when you feel the temptation to lick the mirrors

press your hands over your face,

do not follow your spine’d heart into the corners of watching your own hands race through pages steaming of your self-worth

avert your soul from the needle pricks and the self portraits of grief, even when you feel closest in wrapping yourself around the knife’s sharpest edges, pressing it on their skin, sheering them and whittling while gathering their shavings into a bell jar

do not speak to the octopus, walk away from it’s nipping beak and the cruel ink

stop combing the hairs, find the softness between the fingertips gouging the wood

throw it away from it’s perch on your neck

loose the pining spindles and

shutter ambition’s growls into the firm oak door.

[artwork by Christine Wu]