In Beebe a car may be serviced at REDNECK AUTO– text in red letters that make it clear who the strict-faced men of White County consider beautiful. Bathroom doors in gas stations read Please do not put needles in the waste bin.
what sustenance found body was there food from home spiced heavy to make man remember brown faces surely there is a safer way to pay bills that excludes seeing death each day on the shoulder so many lanes of strangers who do not know the giant squid of their sea holds half of me holds someone who curses when they dart into his path just feet away his feet do they hurt is the neuropathy taking over did he take his meds does he have his meds does he doze as wheels move tonight how many hours will he sleep how much time on the wifi card will he use before closing curtains of trailer and stretching out in tiny bed how long have eyes remained open in log of stops and rest what is true and false what truths does he find on the road alone with thoughts postcards of mountains and fields and snow blurring past casinos and strip clubs and churches all begging to save soul all rejected for patches of grass …
please be suspicious do not let me in your home i bring bad fortune with deceptive purrs and massages made of knives i smile while i kill mice too slow to live soft flesh pink red wet fills mouth i am beautiful in all my blackness
in a biological anthropology class today, a student prefaces his answer to the professor’s question: “well, if you believe in evolution and that kind of thing…” the universe is infinite. life lives on moons and bathes in starlight the way we bask in warm heat of poison water on earth. god is in the dirt. in the stones. in palmetto crawls through window crack to avoid cold, asks to be spared from death outside. sunshine kills germs — hang clothes on line between trees. old light purifies in different ways than powder soap. everyone knows their own truth. jesus was a man with siddhartha and mohammad. wise men of the past would laugh at us now. belief in change in a population over time does not conflict with dreams coming true next day or color flushing whole room or way unseen ones respond to minutes still and quiet. science and god are both beautiful.
Texas. Images of cowboy boots, desert and oil rigs come to mind. That’s all I thought I’d find after moving here in high school. I never expected that my voice would blossom in a land that felt so dry and barren, so opposite the garden on the sea I called home. Texas gave me poetry. In north Texas, it’s possible to find a poetry slam or open mic where people speak their truths uncensored almost any day of the week. There are academic readings of published writers, critique groups in coffee shops and collections of 20 or more people packed into living rooms laughing and giving each other writing prompts. My home lives in these words. My home is in this community. My home is a place of cowboy boots, desert and oil rigs. Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the politics. We could reserve a spot in the parking lot of national news coverage and give it to someone wearing a suit who wields pen as weapon. That someone would probably be a man, considering …
Hemingway didn’t mention a color. These are violet. They catch the light like a cat’s eye in the dark. They are too small to make me feel such big things– as was she, in dream after dream after fucking dream– until I stopped sleeping all together. Is there a scientific name for an obsession with the imaginary? Religion! Haha, clever joke. Told by someone without the answer skirting serious talk, because Why do you have to be so dark?
At this time, we are unable to provide status updates for previously reported outages. Something about the smell of rotten food that makes you recognize privilege– that you could have all this, sitting, and not think to buy cooler. Buy ice. Something about looking at clocks in the store, imagining nuanced tickings and tockings keeping you awake, being disappointed there is not one with two bells for ears and the closest thing you can find to what you need is too fashion magazine, too simple masquerading as avant-garde, too white. Something about candles– driving home from aisles empty of flashlights to see flickering yellow against windows, taking off clothes to sounds of shadows dancing on walls, Black Wings and Blind Angels by black gem of blue hue being read to moon’s music courting fire. Something about trees made horizontal by the hands of the earth herself, death in plain view, roots older than you will ever be plucked up as though string in cat’s hand, you made to remember all that is life.
too much content in deep reaches of sleep self to be awake and make sense to those who do not dream — i cannot shake it off or away when eyes open.