So long, Fearful

Focusing on the theme of Fear, in honor of Halloween. Enjoy!


By Jasmine Henri Jordan

It is “hey baby, can i walk you home” tipsy outside the wilson redline
it is “i shouldn’t have worn this”
it is if i say yes, it’s my fault
it is if i say no, it’s my fault

it is the second time the cashier swipes your debit card
it is an unopened bill on your desk
it is keeping the receipt in case you overdraft
it is putting a bagel on a credit card

it is turning over and reaching for their spot in bed when they are across town
it is the moment that you can’t see the end of us
it is the moment when you can see the end of us
it is “nothing’s wrong. i’m just tired.”

it is a hand on a crowded train
it is a stranger’s breath on your neck
it is holding your breath until your stop
it is stop, stop, stop

it is “hey, dyke!”
it is “hey, bitch!”
it is “hey, i’m talking to you”
it is “hey, can i walk you home?”

it is getting tangled at the ankles in a lie
it is getting too big too fast wedged in your ribcage
it is stay with me clutching the back if your neck
it is i’m sorry clutching the piece of flesh that keeps your tongue in your mouth

it is what you might do to be thinner
it is what you might do to be richer
it is what you might do if left alone
it is the ghost of all the things you meant to do

it is grasping at a moment you thought you wouldn’t forget
it is the sudden awareness that you are younger than you will ever be
it is realizing that you’ve lost touch
it is where the time went

it is a call at four am
it is the refrigerator on your chest at seven am
it is missing them at three pm
it walking home at eleven pm

it is “i need you”
it is doing it alone
it is not being able to do it alone
it is having to do it alone




By Alexander Gudding

at the child
who soon becomes

in the hallway
with hands on

in the closet
shirts that don’t

in the classroom
waiting to transform

that we carved
out in front

on the screen
in the deep

down the aisle
watch the union

suit in the
casket gleams, white

    tell me-
how many have
fallen, in the


3 M0r3 MeM0r33


Bear Feast

Come in and eat w/ me tonight
There are better animals here
Than what you’re used to, or used to
Been better than me, tonight

You told me they robbed you
And you had been tilted toward this life
By your father
And other men, who loved you, or
Loved themselves in you

So that’s what we’re working with
And why I had you over tonight
To eat with me
There are now, better animals here
Than what you’re used to, or used to know
Many better than me, tonight

There were times when I’d load the sink w/ dishes
And deem you unworthy of me
The heat in me
I’d win several arguments in a row
This, I suppose, you should know, but
don’t account that as me, I just didn’t truly know you
I didn’t know

Sit down and eat w/ me tonight
There are better animals here, now
Than what you’re used to, or
Better than me, better than you

And yes, the ignorance is my own, and no
Absolution from this setting
To drag off the table, now
Not so equitable
For some

Come in and eat w/ me tonight
There are better animals here
Than what you’re used to, or used to
Better than free,





took his birthday card, fork & knife, and started to cut it with the practiced hands
that had fed him all his life
after the errand, his curled, fetal frame among dark green blankets, his knees huddled
eyes closed, face leaping between consternation and absolute vacancy
always eyes closed

he had a knack for the piano, or the thing that was last left to be eaten away
or, not so much eaten as built upon by disease, one that eliminates vision
one that eliminates individuals as a well placed bomb, and swaths of loved ones are
suddenly gone
as if your only connection to life was in the memory of another, and when they leave
the room
you disappear

he was in the Navy, and
Nana asked me to fit into his blues, and
he was smaller than me when his younger self
went off to the pacific

Did she want to see him again in me?
his hair, and his father’s hair, were just as my hair
these small boys and their wavy hair
off to war
or spared

one summer during the Fourth of July I broke the connector on his hose
and dread combed my back as I told him that I had ruined this piece of plastic

far less worse that when I dared my cousin
to kiss the trophy fish above his golf trophies

and the first memory is all of them crashing to the floor
and the second is his hand, now massive, tight around my left wrist
as the family witnesses my public punishment, or a round of random yelling

I was hoping the hose would be the least of it, after that
and when he heard the news
he knelt
the two pieces in his hands
and attempted to fit them back together
the act of which, and his inability to complete
seemed to create in him that humble fear
  he must have known that I would soon be the next thing to become unfamiliar
                  and fumble as unknown parts in his hands

why this
his body of life suddenly choosing death, and erasure
and he slowly erasing into lighter and lighter spaces
his body melting a little with each visit, his forehead beaming back onto the lake
to watch him discover himself over and over again

Nana introducing me every time
a stoic version of a reunion
histories portended over and over
“this is your son”
“this is your granddaughter”
“this is your daughter”
“that’s your son-in-law”
“I’m your wife, for 55 years, and I love you”




Bear Feast: ii


 to be honest, like
a regular
almost a footprint
in the snow
destined to live
and w/ dignity, unbecoming

a softness
that reminds you of the safety
of your body

 Come out to
That silent winter fog
No wind for your limbs
         a quick flash of nod
               Relic now

 Hampered core
and a dingy crotch
Your recording
Reaching out in the snow
“This should’ve been – “

Is that enough
For now
As though to keep filling
And pouring out
Until it runs clear

are you memory
do your limbs hover in the hall
casting new shadows



Around the Form


10/12/2017 anna’s 15th birthday
12/11/1998 dad’s 30(?)th birthday [no mass]
(revised upon another person’s relaying)

by  danny turek

              for exactly one person’s eyes

one wavy line~~~~~~~
14 pinpricks :::::::
you can see it sunk in my skin
pink and forgotten like throwing your head back
                                                                                     (in disbelief)

i made stress wrinkles before
i was old enough to care
about stress wrinkles
my age was in my choices
so lets be clear:

must’ve been 10-12
                        (dad says 3-4)
                       (age, such is the numberline)
the natural {be clear-the description when i just
looked it up now (10:48, 10/12 det): An unknown
comes out 
of seemingly nowhere to become a
player with almost divine talent. serendipity}

my sister my father (it was his birthday!!!!!!hooray age)
12/11/1998 he was as is always an old man
father has two loves: my mother/baseball
he is a doctor
my sister, a year younger
and i, jumping,
aiming for flight
oversized sitable firetruck to ottoman/loveseat/comfy chair/striped
rudolph the red-bodied to santa’s workshop (toys to deliver)
wheeled to sturdy, safe, end of game
from not what my father wanted me to jump on
to not what my father wanted me to jump on

it was a game during the
fake game onscreen
my father, enjoying his birthday,
paid me no mind
my sister, same,
might have been a sunday
patience for my mother
away (work?, shopping? needed loneliness?)
we all have reasons to
escape birthdays

from to from to
the natural then dinner w/ mom
then STOP

lets go down a diversion
     the natural: reconstructed from memory
              man with white hair
              stark like he was never supposed to have hair like that
                                                      (a curse? a weary cross?)
             is struck by lightning (causes hair?
                                                         lets not
                                                           fall far)
            can now bat with the best, leaves all pitchers like lonely children on mounds of earth, god granted the na(robert redford)tural ability to be the greatest. there is a hotel room, a game viewed from the dugout (spit, sunflower seeds) there is a woman of a sort involved with robert (the natural) redford, the royals/royalty (the team name). he doesn’t play like a regular player, he’s in out in out of the game.STOP

at some point my father’s voice
is a bullhorn at halftime
the rope round the steer’s neck
and i

little gap
my memory is a wash
the dry, the bleaching
my memory, the laundry
so either
at stop
i jumped
from ottoman/loveseat/comfy chair/striped
to the oversized stable firetruck
i was suspended btw the ottoman/loveseat/comfy chair/striped and the oversized sitable firetruck
landed on the oversized sitable firetruck

so either
way, i landed
     the middle of the left of my forehead
        cracked against
           the corner
             of the glass coffee table
i bled

my memory is like sunday night laundry
forgot to do it earlier
in the week, here we are
more like a dramatic reenactment
then a videotape
my memory, damp clothes

imagine my sister freaked out
blood spotted the living room
carpet (lets run down another road: was it our rented
house in cbus? the distant home of peoria? cleveland? conflation)
                                              (dad says peoria)
my father-doctor gets a dishtowel
blood is filling mouth
tastes iron-y, metal
thats after the fact
didnt have time to taste
but blood–flavored as it looks, deep red
                                    (all metals wish they
                                           were–thats rust)
it poured from the corner of my head
like cutting a hole in a bag of icing
all my human cells painted
the dirty, familiar ground
             (i worried, so much of me out of me)
time warps here
my memory

dad: nothing. nothing. everything is fine.
mom: nothing is fine.

she said i didnt cry
no cries
no yells thru the whole dealy-o
                          (not as far as i remember)
                                               (my memory)
who argues w/ mom?
no crying, blood, iron on the tongue
dishtowel, wet, bronze of streetlights
                           (always feels like rain’s falling)
my mom’s lap
the pinch of stitches reminds you
-fabric skin-
my contents were sealed away
and still (according to my mother)
no tears
when finished, popsicle
a toy of some sort,
doctors are friends to children
                                 (my experience)
we left
            (to a birthday dinner presumably, it felt like days
              like nights had passed. no sun but hours)

now my pink scar
a memory etched
outside my head

missouri, some weeks later
they (the stitches) needed out
i remember extreme anxiety
                     (hyperbole of time?big fish, bigger fish, bigger fish, etc.)
my childhood brain was wracked
but my father-doctor
                         (doctors can be fathers vs friends)
                                         (my experience)
thin, shiny surgery
i looked like frankenstein
broke free
black like lace
broken like lace
over under, untying your shoe

bit like it was erased
eventually, i can hardly
see it but there is the eroded
page, eraser mark, faded
scar, my head pink
that’s how i broke my
head and all this came out




by Alexander Gudding

“chocolate tums!”
her idea, to save the town
to bring us wealth
as my aunt slams her fist
into the chocolate wood

and eight other-women
and me

Madeline Island: The Cabin

No sports
No men
But me
A lite boy

For years I’d journey with my mother
And her sister
And my sister
To the most superior lake

The end of the dock
The heavy grey water
Used to wash
And freeze into heavier still

My cousins, all (female) as well
Tall and unrelenting
As they strode into the waves
Waves too tall

“do you want to be
a hairdresser?”

as I glide the comb through
their thick hair
and silk

did I?
no, but
the bonding was nice

to be so outnumbered
but feel better, or, more

this binary
having less and less ground
to cover
as it comes for me


there I learned my name\
and that my options\
were open\
rather than ordained\
or led by my crotch\
or face\
or sensitive nature\

[though even after a day with them
I’d still go out
And kill a frog or two]

Eventual nightmares on the lawn
The dark grey water
Waves against my chest
Pushing me to shore
As they pull farther and farther
My separation, clear
And the desire to join
This resistance of
In the arms
The slow-leg

Then – Fire
Rung around in our white plastic chairs
That creak and fart
Everyone laughs
And the warmth on my sweatshirt
The fervor of rest

Do I belong here?
They seem to think so
These apostles
At the center of their spirit

Their strength
And fear
In me
Be fore

The bending matriarch
Watching with contentment
At her efforts
The week will draw
To a close, abrupt

*Encour x4





Time to Body


their smile was fictional
hard to keep it cold
and a hand would lean over
to smother their blunder

If we keep faith and work hard

Will the spirit allow

Will our blood merge with the sound

or sallow

Last night you pushed the manual away
And threw up your head to the ceiling
CLimbed out of the fissure in your neck
and blessed us all one byy one

We never thanked you for that

We all felt such joy at your embrace

And after that house blew away

They found pieces for months in the lake

Again, another night, you walked out to
The pyre they had stacked and lit
Your arms reached out and pulled from the
harrowing noise a thrumming jungle of fear

We worried about you fora week after that

you’d flow through the hallways upside down
catching flies out of midair

the hole in your middle, the thunder there

“Did I lose track of you that soon?”
it was such a large shopping mall
Who could blame me
Who watched that scene unfold, and lied

all and all all the way through?




Dang though
Decided one incident wasn’t enough
took my jaw too long though
Kept beating the desk

What to learn from art, the sojourn
learned to walk straight lines
To perfectly guess the stop
And lay down my knife

Then their heat let loose in one touch

Strange how everything in my closet
Suddenly fits
Those men(?) who wear fall
Like breathing

Now every flaw
Burns down the block

Well on that stool in the living room
It can hold off for one second, maybe – ahaha, nope, never LEFT

Hate the smell of the carpeted floor
The rings on the stove
            Tiny skin in the kitchen

Greatful for the sull
Sick of salt in odor
Kicked into the brick, your neck, your head, your neck, your head, reckoned – what

[Is everything like etc.\\the smack?
You’re like a baby, who’s baby? -> she’s baby, or, sometimes he’s baby                                                                                                    ((Or what I found out, they’re baby))]






just hold the silence, please

callous, the scene skates in, between

resting on the edge of the coin

Truthfully, it hid in the sky

it was the magenta and purple spell

it drew the patterns, and held the rain

Until the field grew dry

To be that relief, hearty and fresh smelling


But, more like the soil now

And there is so much heat, speed

Some of the salt burning, pouring wide

Spread high





Sort of haunt



yeah this is the regular jersey
almost every day, spring of 09′

no, don’t remember too much from the flood
my arms still trace the motion of throwing

would wake up in the first hour or two of the night
passing sand bags; we were out there alone

it was one thing, to lose your home, or all of it
it was as if fire to see you community suffer

the tan humvees at every mouth
“What’s your address?”

as if they could know every home, just protectors
here for the season, felt more civilian then

almost lost the whole south side, to one little stream
no, not powerless, just _ hindered

brown slow and dead against the snow
it seemed to be, live-giving, they say

that taketh away
the say

our stomachs just sort of(hurt) the whole time
ate so little, and we’d see the loss of space

it was good for us, to know




No, don’t let over:
or, let it go

could poke. slick. to brush hair.
distant. but running lines. held.
this skin. white boy. with his laugh.
smooth. seems younger. suffer.
his money. bloody. some random.
Disney prince. shattered.
is my body. fallible. those hoards.
feeling ok leaving work each day.
felt the moment I couldn’t feel you
anymore. helpless to the humming.
well he started running. troubl.
here’s the key. here’s the rope, see.
here’s the prayer. though I’m not there.
Justice doesn’t demand traveling back
and forth. between decisions. it
seems we’re in for, that distant steam.




Hands in your pockets, kids

no no, no, no well, no, no no, no
could you rest on the theme
hand on a knee, heaving and bare

the low light and fumble of buttons
several fourteens (linked into seven)
on the carpeted floor, cushioned
explore in the basement
fast forearm and – released

you were turned so early, they said
this was normal, to be so unique
while we all remained soft and short
pinky and long hair and sweatshirts too large
thin bodies held alike

no no, no

was it unfair – well, who cares, no, well, no
it was unfair, if also, senseless and inanimate
you’re not porcelain, and we’re not steel

are we so fully bent now
that the scream isn’t even out




Rivers of England

If it’s not overflowing

It’s glowing

Down the road a few ways


To keep birthing away


When these memories visit

Random effigies

In the kingdom

Bring them




What a recipe!



Well that solo-ride livened me a bit
sucha brutal day to suddenly dissolve into whistling
just wanted to give up
get out of the liquor beams
and look there it came, right up to the fence
and licked my hand

this missile is flung over the sea
and it’s only getting worse
so it must be relief ordained
by so much cosmic crush
feels solemn, this unapproachable lift

like heading home, or away, alone
-all they did was type all day, or worse, listen
now they listen, and slide Rhythmically around the table
it’s a dirty table, but they don’t care
even that sad stain can’t bother me now
they’ll so much as glisten

oh, that ride home
oh, that compass problem
away in wind, and harmony bone
less and lengthened or tethered a little out
just so rich, this
remember your ribs
that hurtle stare
still healthy there

bush bush bush bush bush bush bush bush
hiding, not longer though, no
just listening, ooooo
Huddle with me there, locked arms
swinging out over the grass

you’ll get that sunshine back
that light last night
proves it’s there

away in wind, and harmony bone
That’s a loan.




Culture Ops

Brother just be here
When we are missing
That sound no longer heard
Comes crash shattering in
To lay off your sin
The words
Spoke and fell for
Laminated in black
And some history lost
We are no longer
Like some giant white hall
That visits in random
Or a sign of Our everlasting attempt
A failed fight
Like those bulky lines
Fired across the wall

Leave them
Let them feel their shoulders
Start to skim
Oh how they’ll sink
Like diamonds
In dirty water

Bury me brother
Deep where I can find you
Where they wrung from me
My holiness
Strewn and slobbered upon
Again and always
Why couldn’t you?
Save what I had to say?
Oh the colors now
Design awhile
Then mate for children
To lean upon

So are the things I fed
They come for me
Without question

Originated later

On rain day they said

“you’re going to fail”
and we did

Every thought I stole
I stole without knowing

It’d only deepen the river
Or lengthen the bend




Ordinary Magic

Gently hold their hair
And hold them close

Tightless hand
About your wize throat

There are in the world
Those soldier ones


When I’m brought before that jury I am maimed

When I’m sat before this jury I am claimed

Shower me with their
Restful thunder
Rain for later

Can you break this body’s heat
                                    That reeks of exhausting you
Trail down to the wading lane
Little pains

I could play along with you ————_where?

Howl downwards and leak into that soundboard
With the lazy stain

When will you tell me
That I can’t try any harder
Or that trying
Isn’t even the point

Can’t see clearly near you
Time to


IMG_1320 2


Hold this crane, hold open

They asked-
Could you be more accessible

A bird with open wings, flight patterns distinct and == tread == often
                    Could you be more discerning, Know the difference
between spans of sorrow
and times of regret

Could you act like you’re more thoughtful–
                    And as if that was hard to share
They tripped on the phrase
And down the stair

                                  Oh, And could you clear the table
                                  Even when I’m not there   

…I’ll pause here       \/

And wait-

For the cool breeze
One that lends me a few seconds of rest
From that newly burning sun that turns me red and ripe with hot tearing skin
This is the memory- I like to live in

When a fire () in the day
Serves a new purpose at night

It is with delight the news is delivered

I  r e m e
m b e r
a health I’ve not had for many years
a health of solitude large enough to allow me sleep
Of an’ for myself




To begin with


This is the inaugural post of a new weekly poetry record!

I have been writing and performing poetry for the past several years, and would like to share that work with a larger audience. The goal is to provide a space to develop craft and, as that space evolves, inspire future collaboration across different mediums. For now, we’ll keep it simple.

On the Sunday and Wednesday of each week I will be posting three-four poems, along with some visual elements. Below you’ll find the first of many.

Feel free to follow this blog and receive weekly email updates, comment directly, or drop a line in the contact page if you’re interested in contributing.

Hope you enjoy.




virtuous, when you were

your body-love and the concept of security
are mutually entwined  with mine
our carceral trajectory, a natural vine

lacquered into distant coats the boiling subsides
and the particles harden to harden you; the distance regains you
this space upending time

gentle tickling in your throat, sanding the tongue against-
air blaring interrupts outside, the signals repairing the fence
they call this growth

gentle stomach allows a smoothe walk, branches willowed forward
remember the thick wind to come hydrate your hyper limbs
well it remembers your skin, anyway

halted eyes while the wood thrusts into the brick
along that way – was it the fever that broke over
was it the babysitter in the front yard with too many hands on youth

is this the haunting that holds over a sweat-ridden bed
is this the hunger of the brain holding forth in conversation
holding out for an entrance underneath the city

elders never learned of autonomy
what could be so slender, they deliberate in marble

“no, I mean, no idea.” – ha

but clicking over, there comes our home, regained
this neighborhood is so hurt for pleasure or paint
pain being the hurtled brick as it brushed blood with sweat of the skull

come on walk with me now, you know
this body used to be your size, and it still swells with fear as yours does
so, your gift better be won, or win when you can, if anything

and now your arms are folded deep and there’s no whittling you down
and I miss those arms that would hold my neck as a ladder, a rung
and you did nothing to deserve it but you did everything to have it happen to you because

you were alive,
and where are you now if not abounding outside this reach

soldier you are out heaping the joys of wartime into that ditch
there the wild sand can accumulate and add depth
holding court and dealing death blows to youth who now know

are you home?
hoped the whole way here
you were alive,

now tongues hold all at height-value
so to speak




Mornings aren’t on salary

Attempt to drain thoughts as early as possible
As if adulthood
Becomes more of the morning
Than anticipation of the night

Slept with jaw-clenched bare feet
Felt my friend and the layover
Of time in memoriam

All I can know
Is lately

Befriend in the summertime
Better coffins now available
Overstock and driving prices
Drive by homes
Collecting from the people
A collection
A recollection of summertime
not always sunny

beautiful children
on the train
what were their names
No one gets to say

And no one is able to ask

“Did you think this could ever happen to you?”
Start a foundation-
Paint the mural-
Hold your remainder-
Keep it mathematical, or-
At least academic-

“Academic Solutions”
That leave us





she said you’d cool off in a few
days, hampered, your clothes peeled off

the sickness of your underarms, hair
bristling, blood rising up to supply your stomach

you’d lean over and heave into the
steel bucket, that noise like lonely alleys

never felt the gaunt look on your face
suppose it hurt to shelter us from it

reeling, the poison dissolving in and around
you, would you attempt to clean it from

the walls of your veins, bristling open
and your last thought, your brother’s

hands, your brother’s hands, your brother’s
hands, and his olive skin and his

son, and Eddy, though they spent
endless amounts to help you simmer

though you endured the best of their
therapies, still silence slipped in

again that last, endless, moonlight thought to
carry you through to your end