“FUNHOUSE” – “WITHOUT REPRIEVE”

Funhouse

Do I write like an Ashbery now,
two feet on the careening windowsill?
You could watch my lymph nodes swell
to burst into relief.
I believe in everything I’m told.
Watch me origamically unfold
like a bionicle.

Surprise will wipe the smile
from your tennis ball eyes. You’re right
to take them off me when the whole room
chants my failure. The geriatric mail carrier 
stalks among the tenements
to whisper something soon 
that makes no sense.

Without Reprieve

I am making three point turns
on highways that the afternoon
denies me. Don’t expect these signs
to give you answers to a squalid question,
the perennial Mexican come knocking 
at your door...

		There will be no more
Topangas for our children to
run wild on. Cowboys chase
a violent horizon, but never tire.
They are engorged on hardtack,
young and ugly. I want to hug them badly.

Though other things may come to you 
at night, this is enough. We are waiting our turn 
to swallow you up. Could something be 
more blithely cinematic? Indulge me this my
unquenchable attic, stuffed as it is
to the brim with curiosities.

Brian is a poet, illustrator, linguist, and receptionist living in Baltimore. He posts “Rupi Kaur” style poems on Instagram @daddymomlegs. He is afraid to admit that he has never in his life been “devastated” by a poem, but he does really love when they’re good. He understands that rhyming is out of style, but he can’t seem to help it, and his dignity prevents him from taking the dark path of the white rapper. So here we are.