Cole Miller // for two years starting in 2011 with an ending in tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks
pile of beer cans all kinds of beer cans
picnic table the wood grey underneath once brick red
sit on it
I smell like a yeast infection
bruise easy purple bullseye on my jab arm expanding
I steal the peppers and plant them in the silver light of early morning
a dream souring, like cheap wine: unemployment for the maximum
I bike controversy, the Bluffs early light, find the knife dropped only hours ago
the booze congeals inside me, it becomes a jello cake with a stopwatch inside, visible
inside the wobble
inside the wobble
I smoke gin
I sink in,
I stay up late,
I wait up, rising
I make pancake,
I ate up make up,
go to bed after my steak up
Michaela Domier // She Should Learn to Take a Joke
“She should learn to take a joke.”
“Don’t be so serious.”
“Are you okay?”
“I feel like I can’t say anything when I’m around you”.
“It’s only a joke, chill out.”
“Your laugh is too loud.”
“You used to laugh all the time.”
“Do you like anyone?”
“He’s harmless, don’t worry.”
“Speak up for yourself.”
“I see how he treats you and it’s not okay.”
“Where’s that smile?”
“You always seem upset.”
“Are you angry at me?”
“We’re only kidding, we don’t mean it.”
“Where’s my ‘good morning’?”
“You owe me now.”
“You should really smile more.”
“She’ll report you, you know?”
“I didn’t actually mean it.”
“I miss seeing you so happy.”
“You seem really out of it.”
“Am I bothering you?”
“Sorry you feel that way, I didn’t mean it.”
“It’s only a stupid joke.”
Micah Thomas // A gift, for you, my darling
In what ways can I describe the feelings I have for you?
To wonder why you are so is to seek the world you make.
A tranquil grace, wonder’s gift, a graft that pours out my heart.
Wonder draws inquiring joy, so your truth is my delight.
Knowing you is paramount to satisfy my desire.
Wonder’s ‘lusive longing tune, though grateful I ever be,
only sings the storm birds call that takes perch in rising winds.
Wonder ends and questions fall, no mysteries yet that lilt.
Breaking down the guardsman’s wall with sweeping wisps of romance,
silence drops a swelling pull, I trust the formless dancing.
Dream of days to taste your touch, your beauty weight beneath me,
alarms ring not from your kiss, your embrace dissuades my fears.
Dancings sway a passions drift, though grateful I ever be,
only moves an ocean’s tide, reaching for the rising winds.
Time will come when dancing dusks, toils dawn, and laborers rise.
Thoughts that whisper wary woes, like water my mind cascades.
My strength is prone to sapping, but hope I have found again.
As my woes are brought to you, your voice is all that I hear.
Sorrows scatter from your light, I find my self stand again.
Your callings that bring me home, though grateful I ever be,
only shines a light house fire, breaking mist in rising winds.
Rare a woe that will remain, I barter for better health.
Crafting language of my own, to stumble with wordsmith’s steps,
a glee to know who I am, reflections to show myself.
Inspired words, I rush to you with a child’s sense of pride.
None besides you, dreamers seek givers of life that listen.
Showing my joyous writings, though grateful I ever be,
only flies a stick-string kite, fluttering with rising winds.
Close your eyes, oh my dear, get lost in this timeless space.
Moments seem to always break, let’s make them last forever.
Bind them in our hearts and minds, we shall never feel alone.
Not once before have I met a lady such as yourself,
Beauty that surpasses all, eternity’s in your arms.
Don’t you feel this rising wind pushing our fates together?
If anything makes us split, let’s just call “bread and butter”.