Inktober poems YEAR TWO: a thread


rubber moccasins dug firmly
into a bed of old sand
and clam shells honed into
shivs by an unyielding current
habit is bait for the fish
that refuses to be found
in some places, they grow larger than legend,
mauling oxen and fishermen
with the devil's fingertips
poking out of their gums, or
making the shore rumble
by thrashing under a god's thumb
but here? toothless barbeled sharks,
aquatic possums passing by
as I try to harness that which
sees me as just another stone

UNTITLED (Exceprt from an Old Unfinished Poem) [wisp] 

the young day keeps all promises
you glimpse the face of God in your Spanish omelette
and in the crispy hash brown wisp of hair
tumbling from her forehead like a kitten's toy


You stand on the gore like a shy child in a school play. Your hair is teased by a cement wind. You feel constricted in the bulk of your layers. Your club-goth shirt has a sash of negative space, and your
cool pants look light a giant mustard stain in the light of day. Your golden kicks are the color of a median line on a lost highway. You don't know if the sedan teetering on the edge of the shoulder is yours or not. It's a clear day and no one else is here.

SYMPHONY FOR 1,000 RADIOS [radio] 

one thousand underpaid salespeople
twiddling one thousand tuner knobs
over the course of one thousand hours
sculpting the static into a symphony
loud enough to rattle the windows
persistent enough to deter commerce
no one says anything because it all
suspiciously looks like hard work

WIDTH [grass] 

hey Siri
how thick is
a blade of

A blade of grass
is about a third of
a millimetre thick,
barely thick enough
to register to the naked
eye, yet containing
enough area to
stack every second
and third guess you've
ever made about
anything, ever, up to
and including this one,
into a sandstone castle
with oblong pearls
left off the production
line in place of windows,
and surrounded by a
moat of dense coral fog

HARD SKIN [rodent] 

you were small and ornery and
unwilling to leave here without
leaving me a parting gift
the ribbons and bows of a rodent's jaw
a small purple crescent moon on
my thumb's big knuckle as
I was trying to whisk you home but
in my daydreams I understand;
what can you do when a giant
bellows unintelligibly at you,
their crane's claw looming
low like storm clouds in June,
but yell and screech as best
you can with your gummed-up lungs
in the same way you convey
everything else you felt


I squeeze myself into a tactical moisture-wicking polo emblazoned with the logo of a car company whose wipers are worth a year of my rent. I put on my best, darkest pair of peepin' shades, the ones with the checkerboard on it.

Sun-burnt and jet-lagged I cast myself into an undulating sea of chrome and merch. Everybody's too hot. There's meat everywhere. I get my first erection since the Bush administration. I must share this with everyone. I now know happiness.

yo I have to come clean, I wrote this last June and the word "fancy" isn't in it, but the prompt made me remember it, also sorry it's a little gross


it's 4am and I'm on the bus again
moulding my back to the blue plastic seat
and picking my teeth with my tongue
dislodging donut crumbs and diet soda,
the kind cut with not enough
carbonated water; the sweetness
is a feature, not a bug,
I promise, I assure you, I swear;
my cheeks hurt from smiling and my
eyes itch from staying awake and
I count puffy-jacketed rabble-rousers
riding BIXIs like sheep and now
in my mind you'll always be tied
to the smell of fresh baked goods

HUES [throw] (1/2) 

you return and glitch through the furniture
and you scrub and scrape and scour
but you can't get the smell of Craven "A"s
and stale dollar-store cologne
out of your good satin robe
the one with the armholes that droop
like a giant fleece throw blanket drying
on the line in the still of spring
so now you stand
dressed in blues refracted from
the mirrors on the shelves
nestled in the archives
compiled by your former selves

HUES [throw] (2/2) 

mothballed ledgers of ink smears and strikethroughs
a catalogue of everything right and wrong with you
to be seen is to coalesce
but all there is
is a copy of blue
only ever interrupted by the whirring of the fridge
and the pulsing battery light of a laptop on standby

NO MAP [hope] 

look before you lean indoors
the gashes in the presswood
seem deliberate, yet the switches
and levers haphazardly
screwed into the wall are not;
they don't appear to be connected
to anything, their circuitry corroding
in semi-confinement like the
phone number of a long-closed
restaurant; there is no food
for miles, there barely is an oasis,
just a wooden mountain that won't
burn and a pile of wet copper pipes
whistling low in the acrid wind
p.s. I hope you never have to read this


I can't re-find it
but I swear I once saw it
a photo of the 2001-02 Boston Bruins
seated, mostly unsmiling
with Ray Bourque copy-pasted
in between two dudes's shoulders
an intruder in the den
wearing an enemy's skin
hoisting the Cup like a moose's antlers
about to be strapped to the hood
of an '86 Chevy Silverado


o the howls of disgust it must've caused
in every bar room in Boston
a stain, but a stark reminder that
like a black bear in an avalanche
its snarl smothered by a mammoth
ramrod of powder and rock
the most fearsome of beasts must acquiesce
to the flexes of cause and effect


maybe in a neighbouring universe
the Great Ursine would dwarf the raging snow
unhinge its jaw and swallow it whole
but here, the snowslide had its way
and Ray was a champ two times zones away
retiring in the Rockies
and all Boston had to show for it
was everything else

DREAM #9 (THE BOOK ON A CHAIN) [slippery] 

this is slightly longer so I put it on my Pastebin


@derek this is good derek


@checkervest thank you so much Alex

@derek I really hope you are first writing these with a quill pen (they're good!)

@dualhammers thank you! I wish I had a quill, I wrote these in Notepad like a chump

NO MAP [hope] 

@derek this rules so much. I love this

HARD SKIN [rodent] 

@derek derek!!! this is so good my goodness

HARD SKIN [rodent] 

@checkervest Aw man, thanks Alex! It thrills me every time you like any of these

HARD SKIN [rodent] 

@derek I love when you share poems here, you're such a great poet!!

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