Instead of Saying Tired, Try Starving for a Dream

Instead of Saying Tired, Try Starving for a Dream

Obsessive slinkies of music boil
a teenager from me like never before
and forever ago are one: a drag king,
thinly spiteful to cover a jelly donut
of tears. Just when the backseat window
rolls up the night into a goblet of garagable
pause, who can’t or how couldn’t the lips
take the ear, the synth dip into the gone beat’s
horizontal strife. A formal education puts
its hands upon my shoulders, and in
attaching them, spreads an inchworm
in my shrug. Corn worries all my silos,
windowless and new, with cheap milk
and rough floss. Unsubtle and alone,
I learned a lot that year about how light
moves under doors. From just ajar, I took
the lilac shade to my eyes for an affectation,
and to renovate the sky, I thought to wear a hat.

I’ve Gotten Used to Being Just in Time

The Gestapo brought about a nervous laugh
from each of my dinner-guest examinees.
Sorry ma’ams were cursory, given the weather
like cinches on curtains, a bracing zeitgeist
moving through. Who’d have guessed those
Magnus Hirshfield cappuccinos would outlast
the roof? I’ve gotten used to being just in time
to give the sky a dramamine, and as a personal
policy, I’ve canceled dizziness in favor
of letting dance. I get down, dressed as I am
in this radio-active gown—and yours—let’s get
doubled in the gluten of the glow. Let’s shed
the last of our integuments, save up for the half-life,
and spend our chewy lips in the dunno bushes.
Farther on, in the clinician’s orchard, recumbent,
our chins will fall luminous with spit, which
is fertile, and will, no doubt quadruple our peaches,
and in time, our peaches’ peaches, their pits’ pits.


            for Brycin R.

Truth is
my poetry game
is small.

I’m just a garret
haircut over a brief
brume of thought—

as a flower, as a cloud

storming the field.
So my lop-eared magician
lets up from his top-hat

a send-up of lightning.
Plush, the prairie needles,
like a hand in rain.

I’m a supplicant
of aloe-vera
all over a papaya-

colored sunburn,
seeing gray
for a blister, now the answer

I take: the sweep
smell into me—brief mums
of the blind-folded noses

nuzzling a face.
A bit abates; a bit abides.
And a pitter-patter of mouse-mints

on fumigated pillows, that solemn
community of coins
—or better yet, leather bills.

Getting down to brass tax
and bored broads, I heard
The Hammer—

Why do they call him that?

I’d rather not say.        

A few spooks in the yard
pass her empty, white dress in a circle.

Alec Hershman is the queer author of Permanent and Wonderful Storage (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019), winner of the Robin Becker Chapbook Prize and The Egg Goes Under (Seven Kitchens Press, 2017). He has received awards from the KHN Center for the Arts, The Jentel Foundation, Playa, The Virginia Creative Center for the Arts, and The Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design. He lives in Michigan where he teaches writing and literature to college students. You can learn more here.

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