The Angel Oak, South Carolina . . . 1400 years old


Rooted earth deep

The tree inhales

Sucking the ground of its mound,

Drawing this need through substantial trunk

Of soft pith and sap.

Protected by the pitted terrain

Of scabby bark.

The current designs a gnarl

Of branching

Squirting into leaves.

Flustered to hysterics by the wind,

Dried to parchment by the sun,

The leaves rebel.

The tree exhales,

Shaking them grounded, then ground

Sifted into the mound

Earth deep.

white peacock

Robert Mapplethorpe

Long and lone I fled into a vessel

I saw a blood lake yawning wet

I couldn’t say anything

shut up as a pea in dickens of care

I flew out, aped my horse sense and

Crusted angels frisk and his nose joints,

outbending any sleeper. O but a nile to lie down!

Death cane loaded, he was slick to be wheeled.

Now they crawed his slippers, now they licked him to sepia.

They were climaxes.

He was condensed,

turning again,

shifting his limbs over humps of seconds.

Steamy loss, he had pelted each trust of the casement,

prominently unzipped and hiked out to the field on his knees.

An anus relates peaches to paintings and his ran a whip to the bone.

Leaning into the beam, nipple-wishing, dealt it deeper.

A hollow body-skip lanked him, piled him to a salty pitch.

The other, lipped in cold cement, rammed the walls,

drove the edge up to his arm, honeycombing

pain to the sills. Light sang cold and opulent, in yowls.

O master! O fulsome bone!

A death like toast is freer and bleeds—

no longer sempering but devastated,

dropped, devoted to foreskin—its rich pull.

—mickey morgan

Three: A Morning


[The Lovers by Rene Magritte, 1928]

Three: A Morning

—mickey morgan

The Woman

You push me and pull me. Do you love me or hate me? Three weeks of disaffection? I’m sure you are the one who hates. Why did you rest your head on my knees? If you really feel that, have decided that, like you never have decided before how you’ve never caught up with yourself and the way you think you should feel because that is the way a civilized person takes insult after insult till your body bends down and your head thrusts at one angle into the wind so as not to muss your hair so carefully coiffed and combed to cover a dissipation of strands, laying bare your skin, your skin, a shame you never got used to, never will love, will keep on losing hair and hating what it covered, hating yourself for being so vulnerable, so open to the sky’s dropping, so close to solid bone, the rock, the fortressed eye.

The Man

My whole life I’ve been beaten . . . everybody’s bigger. I cringe at bigness, I’ll say yes to avoid a scene anytime, to avoid the ugly brutality of you, your mass of hulking anger, bigger than me, hissing cursing, foul in your mind and spilling out your tongue, peasant, rude, your parents don’t want you, why should I treat you better, you’re lucky I love you. I desperately need you to keep me from dying of hate, self-hate. I reek of it, why can’t you clean me up, ma, you are here to clean me up, shine me, buff me, dress me, decide for me, direct me and then let me reject your direction. Then I can push against your bulking wall and rebound in the other direction. We’re caught in a room and I think that’s hysterically funny that you can’t get out. We’ll shove and shove, tumbling and bruising against walls with no windows, no doors, no air. I don’t need air.

The Boy

Mixing noises my mom my dad pulling a hard rope between them yanking each other till I think they’ll fall. My pillow is soft and smells good. I am loose on my bed and here is the day the morning, my goose rests up there but he hears and freezes Please let it drop, please, please, kick it under the bed my belly waves up something I feel at times like this wanting to be somewhere in a little hall hidden in a dark corner, cover me let the night come back the quiet the sleeping words that stay hidden in deep places, don’t speak them, they stab.  I hear you stab each other and every thrust pierces me. I’m little. But I can make it stop. I can put you together, make you kiss, put us together. If I don’t do it, nobody will. You won’t, you can’t you won’t stop, you could if you’d just say you’re sorry just say you’re sorry that’s all then we would be ok the way we are sometimes, laughing and poking silly jumps and scribbles please please I’ll do it I’ll do it I’ll do my homework I’ll eat my breakfast I’ll take my vitamins and brush my teeth. I’ll get myself dressed very fast and go school and be happy I’ll smile I’ll laugh at your jokes yes yes yes a very good, very good, the best boy

Darling, the Brick’s Disintegrating


[Portrait of Mrs. Boucard by Tamara de Lempicka]

Darling, the Brick’s Disintegrating

mickey morgan

Darling, the brick’s disintegrating.
The low wall on the driveway is nearly
no wall at all. The grass grows through
the cracked tar face.
During the long day draped
in my duster, I gaze
from the nylon bed of the lawn
chair, count the colors of metal
on the freeway. My vision persists
in blending them to chocolate,
insists on the scene of your homecoming.

You roll up and park, flattening
grass in sticky tar. You smell
of truckstops, bars
and hotel conference rooms. We make dry
love. You go.
I swallow
the fourth dose with a little
milk then paint
my nails with a third coat.
The fumes lacquer the air—
I feel heady.

Staring through the picture
window I dream of your foot
on the gas as you edge
up to pass on the right
but you’re in the wrong and you smack
to the concrete divider.
Fenced in by plate glass, I watch
the grass snake
up the legs
of the lawn

Spit Birth

H5 100%

[Mila Chapman, 2016]

Spit Birth

Perched on the rail of the bridge,

she wraps her legs to fold in triangles

over his shoulders. He’s picked her off the edge.

She lifts her T-shirt as he staggers,

swaddles his head inside it, cradles, strokes

the bulging belly.

Faltering blind off the end

of the bridge, he drops to his knees.

The strain is too much. He’s falling

and shoves her off to save himself.

She groans to the ground releasing his head.

Pushing to her knees she looks

back. Her belly is flat.

Bits of broken grass stain her face.

Spiral Staircase

for Jonny

The Abyss of Hell, Sandro Boticelli,[The Abyss of Hell, Sandro Botticelli]

Spiral Staircase

Up she wound

The curve of the steps,

They creaked and cricked their hollow metal

When she reached the top, she rewarded herself.

Remaining a moment  on the white plateau

Of the third floor.

Down she wound.

Tightening a spiral.

Sitting on the bottom step,

She cried.