Philip Sorenson

from Work is Hard Vore



never sleep


is thin and long like the language, seaweed
a face in August

hung in fluttering strips

moons cracked open into other identical moons

alone onscreen glittering pools bright red machines snakes quiet it’s too hot for sound only the sound of the insects stuffed into grasses the un-punctured face as your face so smooth and actual all night long getting high in air conditioned rooms

the Hampton Inn in Lafayette
where we talked about being witches

the actual face that isn’t there because the actual face is just a hole some recursion into verbs a perfectly smooth hole an empty skin a bubble like a whale rising up to the surface of the sea green and stewed nothing can rupture nothing the feeling of your tongue pressing down on the palm of your hand I have an ache in my right leg it is August and there are robins shaking their flat faces in the trees

thin snake world
a wrestler’s body

endlessly identical

swims in skin a deep skin there is nothing but the skin in July water and waves fish eyes turtles insect eyes and plants and stones and mud and further down the folds and flecks all of the undulating mirages the faces here the surface forever pressed up against everything pressed against this screen where it pushes and becomes the screen that moves underneath moving and wriggling and the screen and the skin are the same what the screen says is right there and part of the skin but the things that the screen says are not and never not part of the skin

a back is a beautiful face
a longing

sitting next to the turned-inside-out mausoleum being a function of the stone you are with the grasses wholeness is wholeness is a sighing

and skin as a way to be
just by reclining in the light

like little roses red and all balled up
and they crawled everywhere and spun all over the body

they crawled up the rocks and they crawled through the moss that covered the rocks, and over the lichen. it was late in the summer. it was the last day of summer. they wait near the water. they’ve migrated into their skin. the air moves like glue.


we set stones at the edge of the river and on the other side of the field where we grow olives we set out platters of food and with coal we burn some animal fat and we use the coal to sketch a picture of the rooster and we write RIVER next to the sketch the children set the honeycombs in the grass near the marker we pour sheep’s milk over our hands and arms we are making the fucking work by making edges and knowing to make the fucking work to make generations of people coming out onto the appropriate floor the proper time the acceptable dress the correct movement we regularly discover abandoned office chairs by the side of the freeway or littering the edges of county roads


in the office park
a motionless noon


incredible light

droning everything

demonic acme

a mouth full of germs

glass walls


one moment of the day

bright cold air

office windows glitter

they sleep feed you

tremendous sighs

naked greed greets the noon hour

rotten fruit sits in your trash

kill the sickness with wine wine wine

eat the men hidden in the trees



PHILIP SORENSON has released two full-length books: Of Embodies (Rescue Press, 2012) and Solar Trauma (Rescue Press, 2018). A smaller handmade work was released last year by Another New Calligraphy; though, now it’s out of print. He co-edits, with Olivia Cronk, The Journal Petra.