Ava Hofmann

Microsoft Word - some poems
Microsoft Word - some poems
Microsoft Word - some poems
Microsoft Word - some poems
Microsoft Word - some poems


Originally from Oxford, Ohio, AVA HOFMANN is a writer currently living and working as an MFA student in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has poems published in or forthcoming from Black Warrior Review, Fence, Anomaly, Best American Experimental Writing 2020, The Fanzine, Datableed, Peachmag, Always Crashing, Foglifter, and Petrichor. Her poetry deals with trans/queer identity, Marxism, and the frustrated desire inherent to encounters with the archive.

Diana Hamilton

“Bernadette says ‘we are all so fluent
about ourselves’ and I for one am done

speaking my own language.” The master
of social work wants to know

if my girlfriend handled separation well
between 15 months and 5 years and I say no—

“No, thank you.” I thought Mayer’s “Wild
sauce” was this pretense to self

fluency, but now I know an actual Frank
Wild invented a fantasy meat sauce.

“To find out how I feel
I’d have to find out how I’ve felt.

I’ve been bored, drilled.” “Do you remember
your childhood sexuality?” A bisexual baby

with strawberry bob, holding her shit together
in her hands, “look,” seeking the lips

of others and shoveling too-happy cereal between
her own at mass. “I sucked the thumb

as well as anyone. That’s the source
of my adult independence.” I give her not

memories but advice: “When you’re on a roll
picking movies for a pre-

breakup marathon, having
moved already from Stanwyck to Dunye

because that gets you closer to gay
and farther from ‘we should

end this’ . . .” but she wants to
to know when I gained control

of my bladder. For her purposes
the year spent pissing the Pampers

has more to do with my comportment
toward love than Adult pissing does,

each UTI shortening
the length between first pain and first blood

until every sex act promises new infection
and its bruises—to release, I had to

bite my forearms with an equal distraction,
but I should turn not to this to understand

fear of pleasure, but to the scene of scratching
at a little clit, asking my mom why

it felt nice. That, too, bled. “I wouldn’t pick
a Brian De Palma next.” I wonder, I tell her,

if any analysts offer something other
than this always looking to childhood—

does anyone believe that what happens
to adults also happens to them

again, the way playing with one’s mom’s
hair repeats? “No one would disregard infancy,

no. But the drive theory . . .” “A letter
maybe? ‘I write to apply for the position

of distinguished ex.’ That’s wrong.
‘With eighteen years of experience

having sex, I am uniquely qualified’”—
“It’s interesting that you choose the language

of employment.” “Sorry, I forgot to mention
I was also unemployed as a child.” There is the special

childish laughter I want to make grow up. “I mean ‘x’
as in ‘I feel like people punish me for being

comfortable with distance.’” She says nothing.
“If I date again it will mean even more

self-saying: ‘Hi, I’m Diana—Oh, I’m a teacher. I grew up
in Indiana. My hobbies include saying

‘you are my new punisher’ or ‘you’ll get me
if I tell you three of the following twelve

stories.’” I make an exception
for dreams: I would tell about the roasted

chickens, kissing a cat who turns into a man.
“I made a birdhouse for my speech therapist

and asked her to be my other mom.” “I painted my boyfriend’s
eyelids before chemistry.” “I know—

you’ve told me. Is this about her
desire for kids?” “Actually I was a kid myself

between the ages of 15 months and 30 and
I didn’t like it, it turned me

off to the category.” Very Diana
very a language needs more

than one speaker to work l
mao very I grew up but

before growing I was depressed
to learn I was getting my own

bedroom, my brother was moving
to the parents’ room and the parents

to the room of crickets on cement
soon to be displaced by carpet

so there would not be a body
to hold when the bugs of the mind came

before dreams—I objected then, but I now see visions
too need the room to themselves.


DIANA HAMILTON is the author of three books: God Was Right, The Awful Truth, and Okay, Okay. She writes poetry, fiction, and criticism about style, crying, shit, dreams, fainting, and writing.

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.

Woogee Bae


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WOOGEE BAE is a poet and editor at Snail Trail Press. Her writing can be found in P-QUEUE, Small Po[r]tions, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. She lives in Seattle.

Abraham Smith


so brief and the briefer
the purpler so memory so ink
to lease at least the taste

of back in the day
where the idea was taste
lasted for a generation

in the throat’s insides
so cranes
epicurean fiends

so cranes
jealous worthy
info hiways

of tipple so guys
craned cranked themselves
a little each day

to maximize the wine
just as guys will
gear towards performance

missing by a tire swing
sagacious with raintar tannin
the point about life

a pigeon right at you
a bee right at you three tree bees
the ducking the dancing true

how you roll a holy lacquer gold
over reflex or duty’s dayby
that’s all

guy says that i might swallow allow
the same coin of wine mudded
hourglass going dunno down

threads its traipse toes
mingled with conjecture
as per the yawning clown

as per the swell portico this
lamplight quaffable
most unbash

mimes a freshfruit
mine is too
attenuated peach lights

pressing pink and orange
against the blue
penals of steel

grandpapa there
couches his shark shoes
on in the corner there

proofin history
a matter of stretching
back from fishing

so sound asleep sound
little flaps of lips his
while cuts down a coast

of forests in zanzabar
his neck trailin out
his pantleg his

out past the disappointment mailbox neck
his out past the twin oaks neck
out past the goldenrod

his out past the yellowrocket
his now you’ll have to
see it with your mental neck

out out beyond museum barn
whole county one
abandon sounds like a rainwet

pigeon slappin her blase freaked
blase freaked heart awake she
feebles touch bad luck barn

whose springruns shits never dug out last
whose roof cut gill prodigal
whose weathered roof’s harelip slit

permits one bad ban(d)ana
string of good day
light to ride

down floorwise and lift
given springtime next and natural
damps of nowhere inviting

this one regal thistle up
for whose wide wide
cactus britches

and personal space
purple heart i writ(h)e to vision
through sugarcubes



they will kite and key over
the tallest mountains
the snow jag hiss kind

the heart monitor in heart
attack’s welly foam kind
and they will with the eases

of phrases once
struck you
in the belly of the bell

wcw purrin beauty

hank baitin pinched vinegar
purple bruise fruit bird
perception unction

my reading all that
in susan howe and
my maybe somehow

splicing johnny keats in
puts me in mind
of folks giving birth to overalls

back when brass clasp
fell on off an amniotic tongue
some power wire undoved

bless the ragged
vinegar sputter of a back-
glancing heart

you know i am the spanner of spaces
you know i am the giver
back of sound

in methy rentals
on dug skin
their bones hangers

seems they step on slips
cast off bad water
in movies when she

she’s running
for her
dark life

when the metal ploughs come in
the people were sore afraid they’ll
poison the soil the accented said

no sir just gonna steek to my
wud one offered one old bohunk
his skin so moled by sun

you’d have thought the day
had a hidden behind ear
number 2 pencil had a hidden

test and was bubbling
in C C C C C spinning circles
closed in him

spat tar
nicking it
in to him

always heard that’d get you
at least most of the way to
not that far from average that away

hate to say it but it’s to crane
credit the chemicals on credit killed
the fields same russet deathlife hillsand

shoehorn scissor
shotgun crane mouth
bellow tomato beanie

above rope or straight smoke neck
above last year’s wasp’s nest blown
one stop shop stab and done shuttle the hack

down the smoke rope
held to the oval then
for one fledge of tocks then

fuel to forge force bird sky worthy
your fate to go down
something 2 carrots thin

plastic bag in elm arm alarm
coked up man’s fixity eye
i go where the night leads me

says slapping at his pockets
like money fights
flights or bites

when scissors and
shoehorns get busy together
with rope and old wasps nests

there you have my
memory of my whack ass
stepdad cutting my hair on

the yard missing cuttin my ears
and carcass flies over
a county off comin runnin

cuz the baste sang
oh i ain’t got
no turkey flats no

and i knowin then
the bleedout secret
freshet candle humalong

someone swimming
flying fulsome in whim water
the milk peace all that glide

seam gem wise the water
midswim mind and then
icicle carrot gat and then

gargle gargoyle and then
gaggle gag gull and then
on into the blown

wasps nest bulb belly body
probably half alive still pre lift
but then what would you be for?

if we are all a little or a lot
a woodlot a good load
what would you be for what?

mess i vote for
let my pretty
my petty parts scatter

cross the platte’s

many or one
footbridge footage
jitterbulge floating

a toll




there’s worse overtime
friend than wings
past dawn

unto the waste corn
walked off the job
those statues just did it again

ah history we
try and stone it
sand bleeds



ABRAHAM SMITH is the author of five poetry collections–Destruction of Man (Third Man Books, 2018); Ashagalomancy (Action Books, 2015); Only Jesus Could Icefish in Summer (Action Books, 2014); Hank (Action Books, 2010); and Whim Man Mammon (Action Books, 2007)–and one coauthored fiction collection, Tuskaloosa Kills (Spork Press, 2018). In 2015, he released Hick Poetics (Lost Roads Press), a co-edited anthology of contemporary rural American poetry and related essays. His creative work has been recognized with fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. He lives in Ogden, Utah, where he is Assistant Professor of English at Weber State University.

Adrienne Herr & Vi Khi Nao


questions for the egret
by Adrienne Herr & Vi Khi Nao


VKN What does a debt-free landscape look like for you, Adrienne? Livelihoodwise, poetrywise, prosewise, lovewise, etc.


AH Well to be debt-free livelihoodwise is really a particular politico-economic situation that would subsist on something that doesn’t even know what debt is, because of the way of conducting economy. The rich have the most debt, and also profit from it more generally. So it is self-sustaining. Would a debt-free landscape need to be antithetical to self-reliance, sustenance, the sustaining of the self? The individual? Poetrywise, I think debt could be a function or a state of being. Not to a person or a corporation or an institute, or even to a poetry school. But to the next line… to a polemic or to the history of a word. Even to the sound of a word. To be debt-free means to owe nothing, and sometimes that happens with a line break. One line doesn’t owe anything to the other, but they necessarily follow one another. To write like this is sometimes very exhilarating. Prosewise, I feel that my prose is indebted to my writing practice because it is something that I chose more so than I chose to write poetry. And so I think a lot also about how the prose I write is indebted to the novel, to character. My friend said she wished that the characters would be developed more, she wanted to know more about them. Which to me is a kind of debt to some idea of novel but also the debt to place. Because I think that often when a character is developed it is about place and the placement of character. Lovewise, the debt or debt-lessness I find could be described very similarly to ways I’ve just described poetry and prose.


VKN I still don’t know how to write non experimental writing. Do you find it difficult?


AH I wouldn’t call my writing experimental, yet. Or at least that is not the goal. Unless experimental writing is defined merely as a mode of writing that refuses to satisfy certain expectations of medium, in which case I think as writers we necessarily “play” with expectations, use them or antagonize them. But I tend to relate experimental writing (in poetry specifically) as a more extreme treatment of language as material, precisely this intimacy with language that you’ve mentioned, Vi.


I do seek to push my language further and further towards the material and indeed, the experimental — though the end goal for me is not pure experimentation. Of course language has a very complicated relationship with the material, even sound is not material unless the senses are material. Of course we are made of material, matter – is language material if it comes from us… what does it mean to materialize language, Vi? Is it something you believe in?


I don’t think that the materiality of language should be emphasized in the form of some kind of de-humanized language, sans author or history. On another thought, the active and foregoing – almost eternal process of mechanizing language (as in the written text, or as in the data-fying of language for voice recognition or AI) is necessarily a process of materialization. I believe the writer’s role is to work with and against this mechanization. So I think many other forms or genres (other than ‘experimental’) necessarily become more relevant to codify the work.


VKN I like for us to get away with slanted, reserved gazes, the restraint, unspoken, subtext within textual entity that push the boundaries of intuition versus deception.


AH This sounds like flirting. Is experimental writing like flirting?


VKN I like to think of language as dust, something easily blown in the wind and easily molded with water and spit. I am open to the idea of spitting on language to build another body of another language: woman, being, time. What the world would be like if God pulls a rib from Eve to make another Eve, how sapphically exhilarating it seems in coeval time. I feel like in western culture, we make art by spitting a lot. I like to think we could make things by swallowing, which can be a very Eastern impulse.


AH I have to say this idea of Eve creating another Eve is extremely exciting. The Eve in Paradise Lost looks around her world and sees no boundaries, so it is said that she has no language. It is Adam who looks around the world and starts to name things. But… It is Eve who is ultimately related to Satan, who is the poet in Paradise Lost. Swallowing, spitting… makes me think of Zeus eating all his children. They stay there until his wife tricks him into puking them out. Some kind of male birth aided by the feminine trick. Consumption and creation… we tend to believe now that the way we consume (as consumers) is meaningful and effective in itself. But we forget about the need for expulsion.


VKN Do you like the idea of Satan being the poet?


AH Yes. It reminds me of something I read the other day about how in germanic christianities, there was a god who created, and that god was evil, and a god who did not create, who never created, who “retired” from creation, and that god was good.


VKN Retirement isn’t a bad idea. I am no God, but I am ready to retire.


AH And what do you want it to be like? How do you think of your memory in relationship to death?


VKN I want to orbit out of existence and when you orbit out of it, does memory matter any more? Time? Distance? Intimacy? Satan being a poet? I’d like to think that each person on this earth is a sinkhole in themselves. There is no more realm of existence if one person, their own universe, is a sinkhole/blackhole. I like the idea of the death of one person is the death of all existence. Which in practical terms is not practical. But in metaphysical and nonlinear terms, quite definitive.


AH When my mom died it felt like the end of one universe, or maybe the birth of a parallel one. And that there was a bridge between the two, that I alone was left to maintain. The responsibility of memory. Then memory became more embodied, I realized her as being a part of my body in a very physical sense. Memory became like muscle memory, not something I could control. Do you think about your body after you have died?


VKN I just think how liberating it is. This ontological weight off me. This absolute nothingness. This great dust blowing in the wind. And, it’s exciting. I think death is the most exciting event in a person’s life. Much more exciting than marriage, though maybe less exciting than writing poetry. But who can compete with poetry? Even God is afraid.


AH I went to a cemetery the other day and saw a plaque sitting on top of a tomb that said “regrets”


VKN That plaque needs a daffodil. Place a daffodil in front of the first “R” to hide its remorseful breast.


AH The banana/flower was really what hit me after the initial shock. I google “egret” and see a photo of a white crane, a symbol for strength, patience, purity, long life.


VKN Do you want to be a mother, Adrienne?


AH I don’t know. When I am in love with someone, part of me does.


VKN What is falling in love? I don’t know what that is…or what it embodies. I see people falling in love all the time now and I haven’t been able to relate.


AH It is like the idea of sacrificing your life. Very important to do, very impossible to do.


VKN I don’t have any memory of its permanent feelings, its existence. I have loved: out of duty, out of trust, out of boundary, out of function….Are you in love?


AH Yes. But I think the best way I can think of explaining it is as a succession of disclosures. That’s how a book I’m reading describes narratives or testimonies of religious experience. “A physical and spiritual experience that is inward-turning and outward-moving at the same time.” Being drawn into and out of God (love), a downward and an upward movement or an outwards and a return journey, like a question and an answer. Like an interview that becomes a dialogue. Falling in and out of love, the first fall. It’s very easy.


VKN Like watching paint dry. Two people falling in love. Watching a baseball game, waiting for that homerun that never arrives. I don’t think love exists. I think there are lots of commercial transactions pretending to be love, which is fine for advertisement effect/defect. It’s like going to the superbowl, falling in love.


AH So what kinds of transactions does one expect when they fall in love?


VKN One that is always costly. Not business-like enough. Confusion between who is merchant and who specializes in wholesale: which is what polyamory is all about.


AH So this is when we can experience merchant/buyer confusion in the most all-encompassing way…


VKN Yes. Like I observed the first time I met you: I like how efficient you are. Maybe what I recognized was that there was no confusion in the merchant/buyer in you.


AH If you were to fall in love what would you want? To avoid exchange, of a certain kind?


VKN I would have wanted more subtlety, poetic license to be quiet, resilient, silent, to have the open space for absence.


AH I guess this goes back to debtless landscapes in love. In poetry, and in prose. I guess love is always a kind of exchange. Wanting to know more about a character, wanting to know more about ourselves in a certain place with another. Or lines that follow one another but owe nothing to each other. They happen to be next to each other, sometimes it seems even accidental. It reminds me of how you responded after I first sent you my poems. You wrote, each line may need the next line to anachronistically challenge itself or be less of what it is, and yet, each line could easily self-erase itself, making the readers not careless in the potential demise of language or the way one thinks or could disentangle in this world. You wrote that they are capable of making leaps without resisting. Failing to disembowel because failing isn’t death. And so, I guess, I see love very similarly. If the leap is from one to another, in an exchange, in the instinct to save and destroy ourselves. Love teaches me not to be careless, in the ways I could disentangle. It is also an opportunity to feel fear, because failing isn’t death. Or if it is, then what is being sacrificed is always already a product of this exchange.



ADRIENNE HERR is a poet who bases her work in multimedia presentations, audio recordings, and staged plays. Working with translation, found text and the mode of address, her work exists in tension with our desire to confess. Her latest series LIGHT WORKS or, POEMS FOR THE ANGEL is inspired by a gold angel coin she found on the street. “The Angel is in all happenings / I am going blind on him.” She has recently performed at Hotel Normandy, Paris, Shore Gallery, Vienna, Fine Arts Gallery, Berlin, and The Glove, New York. Adrienne lives and works as a language teacher in Berlin.


VI KHI NAO is the author of three poetry collections, Sheep Machine (Black Sun Lit, 2018), Umbilical Hospital (Press 1913, 2017), and The Old Philosopher (winner of the Nightboat Prize for 2014), the short stories collection A Brief Alphabet of Torture (which won FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize in 2016), and a novel, Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016). Her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. Her stories, poems, and drawings have appeared in NOON, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review and BOMB, among others. Vi holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University.

Kamden Hilliard

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Microsoft Word - tagvv.docx
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KAMDEN HILLIARD is a poet, activist, and educator. Currently, they are an AmeriCorps VISTA member based in Greenville, SC where they assist Gateway House. Kam holds a BA in American Studies and an MFA in Poetry. They’re on the internet at kamdenihilliard.com. Xoxo, gossip squirrel.

Colleen Louise Barry

The Trophy Room

Does what the trophy means change if how the trophy looks does or does not change

How you do it is how you lose

When you lose does a piece fall off or attach

Losing is a historic

Winning is a trick but it works on pretty much everyone

Much more than kindness

I’m always very old or very young too



Look at my trophies

A hidden spatial metaphor

Humans describe you

An ideal audience

Between winning and losing there is nothing

Looking and eating are different actions

A reason to go

If you win I win

Losing, thinking winning was a kind of love

Actual moral issues

Looking away is how I know what’s mine

I just go around smiling

Any victory is violent

Give me an award for saying this

As Bruce says, Down here it’s just winners and losers

The point is I won and I felt nothing

We have to do what we can

A way into the mood of the lake

Are common qualities possible

I see you as dark blue

It’s not invisible but it’s p. hard

Moving like a hand lightly over a body

I know the work you’re in

Waiting on fun

I’ve arrived

I’m dragging everything with me

In debt

I can be gentle

I was moved just to try

My body?

Describing a shape with action

The order does not matter

When I lost my blood still worked

Afflicted with competition

If you win nothing you can still lose it all

Just look right at it

Winning is not enough

Losing is too much

If I let you win do I

Nobody has a healthy style

Am I alone

Is it a consequence

I don’t want you to ever lose

Can we restart the clock

Time out

An object resembles but doesn’t represent itself

Are individuals universal or particular

Loss never dies

True victory is never worth it

The subject of one’s fight is the symbol

Competition is a corruption of reality

I did my job O.K.

When I lose this body can I be free

Who cares

Do better

Move on


COLLEEN LOUISE BARRY is an artist and writer. She is currently based in Los Angeles where she works on sets and props. She runs the interdisciplinary project Mount Analogue. @colleenlouisebarry

Armando Jaramillo Garcia

No Need to Feel Afraid

Others have made the trip but not you
And that implies a certain thing
No one ever wants to hear
So what if you weren’t raised
Where you were born
And have been forced to eat
This variety of confusing foods
Experience the boon built into the system
Always expanding even in redundancy
Only fools figure it out
The rest form an unlikely community
Some fond of bland crispy rice
Others wounding themselves with hot sauce
All wanting to be sophisticated enough
To accept everything
What a sermon you thought
As guilt turned into insults
Let’s get ahead of ourselves and relax
A Fire Island rental and all that means
Traded for a no-frills vacation to the arctic
On a cargo ship taking advantage
Of weather change
And newly available routes
It’s obvious what I’m trying to say
That we’re going to hell happy
And we’re going to complain
Even as we’re amazed


Dream Disaster #2

An oddly composed squirrel perched on a ledge
Was surveying the street below seen mostly
In silhouette it looked like a mini-gargoyle
Or a superhero calmly exuding dread
Then underwater I was naked and struggling
With gooey vegetation that held me in its grip
As a giant squid approached in its florescent menace
Just then a muscled man who looked like Kirk Douglas
With high-wasted navy-blue briefs dove into the water
With a knife between his teeth and the mood
Was now one of confidence
And the problem with the objects
That were attacking from all directions
And now subdued is the idea of them
As something else that you can turn on or off
And just as the thought was about to subside
An airplane crashed into a building
But the film they show is of the Hindenburg
In Lakehurst New Jersey already a memorial
Even as it burned into a floating skeleton
Whose black spindly bones kept waving in silence


The Grid of Elements

I’m growing old right before your eyes
My days as a Plantagenet in royal purple and ermine
Pushing people around with thoughts and malice
Will soon end and I’ll be just another commoner
At the meat market exchanging coins for scraps
What do you call it when the tables are turned
When the adjustment is brutal but deserved
The practical side of transformation unexplained
The imminent law of threes turns up with a fury
There are seven ages to get through
But the math gets fuzzy at the top of the chain
Growing impatient with others whenever you’re not alone
Company only interesting when it’s with nuggets of gold
And I’ve never been the type to find solace
In the devotion of dogs who should be with their own
Hunting in packs and tearing flesh from the bone
At night by the sea’s bioluminescence I’ve seen
The mindless extraction of what remains of the self
Float away perplexed and unclean



ARMANDO JARAMILLO GARCIA is the author of The Portable Man (Prelude Books, 2017). His work has appeared in Boston Review, TYPO, Pinwheel, Inter|rupture, Black Sun Lit and others. He is the current co-editor of poetry at preludemag.com.

Julianne Neely

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JULIANNE NEELY received her MFA degree from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where she received the Truman Capote Fellowship, the 2017 John Logan Poetry Prize, and a Schupes Fellowship for Poetry. She is currently a Poetics PhD candidate and an English Department Fellow at the University at Buffalo.