Hands 1-3

1.

In search of brutal hands

that can bash in skulls and eyes and tongue,

hands that turn the person to primordial

and leave visceral poetry across

the crime scenes, hands that pour

goat milk and raw honey from Grecian vases

and waterboard this temple until

it cries out cosmic truth,

hands made of serpent flesh

that pull hearts and lungs from cages

and examines them in the fresh mountain sun

looking for potential jewels,

hands that do the work of Revalations,

that drum and trumpet the beat of four riders

pulling apart this husk

in those cardinal directions

leaving a mandala of all one was

for scavengers to fight over,

hands that won’t let go till our

fervorous pleas of OH-PLEASE-KILL-ME

aren’t speaking from a place of fear

but from the roots,

in search of those hands

that show us all that remains

good in a man.

 

2.

If I rub my hands together, with enough force

I can turn the dust into sparks,

a handful of lightning thoughts and thunder beliefs,

and if I do it long enough,

there will be plenty for you and for me.

 

And if we rub our hands together, with enough force,

we can turn all fear into a seedling,

a tree with roots tangled in and out our

skin, blossoms bursting through our chests

and fruit shall fall from our eyes

as we age.

 

I rub my hands across the petals of your lips,

I can turn them into ash, with enough force,

and then I can hold more of you

in my hands.

 

If I rub my hands together

I can turn your dust into sparks

all lightning struck tree,

planted in the palm of me.

 

3.

Those who can read

Know her as a star map, already fading

 

those who can touch

Know her sympathy can, in fact, vanish

 

Those who can hold

End up knowing she doesn’t really want them

 

Those who are offered, though,

Know she is handing them a second chance.

Entry #22

Officers Parker and Bishop shuffled down the steep scree field, sending smaller rocks racing out under their heavy feet to the bottom of the coulee. They had parked behind the ambulance, which itself had been parked behind the fire chief’s rig, which was further parked behind the logging truck that had first stopped and called in the crash. The guardrail was severely mangled, like a great beast had come along and shredded its rusty contours with razor-sharp claws. It was that time of day where the sun had just begun its travels off to other parts of the world, and the mountains and trees were casting jagged shadows that danced as the emergency service lights all spun around at different speeds. The bottom of the ravine was home to numerous small shrubs and a creek that gurgled by gaily with little to no regard to the horrendous addition the mangled truck had made.

 

Both deputies had heard over the radio who exactly it was that had been ejected from the driver’s seat. Both couldn’t help but think it was related to the Nice case, yet both were determined to not let the paperwork from this incident join that growing pile of shit.

 

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If Hemingway Wrote My Life

The Teacher watched the bubbles race each other to the surface of his drink. It was a bastard drink, 7-Up and Knob Creek Whiskey on ice. It was the yellow of an ale and had almost no bite. He could have sworn he put in several fingers of the whiskey, but the soda held all the bite at bay. It was good and sweet in the late afternoon. It made his mind at ease at first swig.

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The Last Poem I Ever Wrote

I’m slurping down my ghouls with whiskey shots

Suppress and deny

 

Suppress and deny.

 

I finally found out what is wrong with me

My face isn’t symmetrical,

 

My face isn’t symmetrical

So how dare you expect me to contribute

To society.

 

The left eye is lazy,

The crows feet are different heights,

There are already crows feet,

One eye is sadder than the other,

The hair doesn’t line up,

There are already crows feet,

One eyebrow is intense

And it ain’t the right one,

Or the right one,

The left eye is lazy,

My face isn’t symmetrical.

 

How can you expect me to contribute

To society?

 

All the friends keep saying,

“It’ll be good.”

But I never was a friend with smart folk.

This will have to be the last poem I ever wrote

Until I drink whiskey again.

 

 

 

Even then,

My face isn’t symmetrical

And these ghouls keep sharpening my teeth

On their way down.

Entry #20

From: Academypublishinghouse@*****.com

To: thepeachykings@gmail.com

Subject: Progress?

Body:

Hey AT & RH,

Loving the copies we have seen so far. You two have a real knack for filling in the blanks of what happened in those bumpkin towns. Two reasons I’m contacting you today, and frankly, it’s not all peachy. (see what I did there?) The first item, sales from the last book are down. This was to be expected going into this quarter but still thought you two should know. I guess people are done hearing about the incident in Phoenix, with the final finding being inconclusive and all. There is a palpable energy here in the office though; we are really excited about this Deercliff work. Which leads to my second reason for emailing. WTF is up with the delays? That sheriff got her memoir out within months of the events up there, and she is on fucking Ellen. We don’t know how much longer we can cover your expenses without seeing some tangible results from our investment. Need to see the next entry of the work sooner rather than later. If you two are burnt out or something, then just say so, but we need to have something ready to publish in the next few months (even if it’s unfinished) to keep up our contract with you.

Sorry for the pressure, like I said, we really like what you have sent our way. just really really need you guys to wrap up your work in Deercliff and come on home.

Good Luck,

Amelia.

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Keelhaul (Short Story)

This is a long short sci-fi story about space and goo and loneliness and love and fathers and stuff. It has been taking up most of my writing time lately, and I’m just happy to have this first draft done. Definitely a work in progress. Enjoy and feel free to provide feedback in the commentspretty please.  – OG Soggy Boi

Keelhaul

By AJ Tompkins

Audio log – Hospital Corpsman Antony

Assigned: UENC Giles

Joint UEN/Herrmannian Empire Expedition

Mission Statement: Rendezvous with Exploratory Drones in Asteroid Belt Z-378 for Frozen Water Stores

Entry Number: 1,031

I am recording this entry with the purpose of submitting it as an official record and as part of my case against UENC Commander Charon, CO of the UENC Giles. I will attempt to leave out no detail, and cover all the bases for this complaint.

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Two Bottle Ballad (Poetry)

Two Bottle Ballad

 

Like Christ my blood is wine,

Each sip a fuzzy caterpillar crawl

To the fruit end of the tree,

Barely flowered, tart,

I let it consume each new possibility

Before its time.

The only other route being

let them grow fat and drag my branches

Across the ground,

Creating a whole new generation,

A grove of mistakes,

Thorns and vines

Stealing away light that should be

Mine.

It Gets Dark Early (Poetry)

It Gets Dark Early

 

Round this way it gets dark early,

So all the people follow suit,

Antler crowns and flowers in their hair

Amulets designed to catch the solstice sun

And faux Orion belts round their waists.

 

Never enough light around this way,

So our eyes adjust and pupils get big,

Chakras aligning with the shadows cast

By all the bigger figures of imperial history

And them chains they got tangled in.

 

Round this way celebration requires fire,

So the hands are always sap stained and cracked,

The axes have constant existential crises

They are the only ones singing and swinging

And that just doesn’t seem fair.

 

Never enough good around these days,

So we just wear cloaks plucked from ravens,

Better to blend into those smoky bar walls

While sticky hands pass ciders and meads

And all the voices mumble apologies.

 

Round this way superstition reigns,

So all the sovereigns lean on the entrails

Cast about by lazy shamans with red hands

Despite them never picking up afterward

And claim truth is theirs alone to create.

 

Never enough round this way,

Yes, round this way there is never enough.

Climate’s Change

(via Daily Post, Finite)

 

The flames are always finite,

For they rely on the generous giving of

Others bodies for their warmth.

Eventually they get climatized

To the predatory pity and decide to fade,

Ash to dirty ash, spinning and

Cackling like newborns

As they spin free, dust returned

To dust, so fine it lingers

In your life line and love line

Through each wash, growing darker

And more a part of your skin.

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We Used to Talk

Ponder with me, if you will, 

Those distant cousins who crafted language. 

To emerge, erect and erect from

The shadows, the lack, the before, 

Into the mistakes of Eve. Imagine

The poetry rolling through 

Hills of tongues, fjords of teeth, 

Just to taste it and birth bird song. 

Imagine how the moon conspired

To create romance and lust,

The Sun spawning wonder and the guteral sound of art, 

Doubt oozing out of the swollen snakebite

And the venomous glee in being

The smith of words just to hurt. 

Ponder the creation of song and wails, 

The utterance of a messiah and the horns of Jericho, 

The white horse and death rattle. 

Now, Speak.