Poetry: Selections from Kyle Denner
was an ectomorphic disaster, a graveyard
of chicken skeletons held together by wire,
frayed by the constant gnawing
of ferret teeth as ethereally straight
as a millionaire’s row
of palm trees. The wreckage
of my artless craft
filled up the pages of my empty resume,
and was a faint reminder of eskimo kisses
from Polynesian girls
pawned in Waikiki for a busted typewriter.
Each new night was a lost weekend,
sloshing around in pigeon shit and Kahlua.
Man and Wife
My fondest memory is of an 8-second honeymoon,
your wife’s strawberry blonde hair spilling out
beneath a novelty cowboy hat, her writhing on top
of that mechanical bull, screaming
so loud that a gunshot would have dissipated
into thin air. It was so unlike the moment,
in her bedroom, when she handed me her pink .22 snub nose revolver
and stared at me
with the placid eyes and gritted teeth of a German Shepard. It’s cute
she said. And the weight of the loaded firearm was like bread
saturated in wine. Then,
when she made me dinner—pork chops and potatoes—
her black-and-white Irish great-grandmother sat over my shoulder,
glaring at the pathetic scene. Your daughter refused to eat,
a wordless protest of the ungodly meal. Your wife calls it tea,
and her old-world ways disturb me. She said grace with a cold breath,
as if her virgin heart were incapable of contradiction. The thought
of her tiny hands wrapped firmly around a spoon, forcing mashed potatoes
into an unwilling mouth
sends me into disjointed apoplectics that I drown in homemade cider cut with Jameson
and keep for myself.
we smoked a bowl and sucked down
1.5 liters of Rosé. Pink
escaped, breathless as soufflé, from
your lips. The word,
palpitating a feral heartbeat,
before your face and radiated
a fetid heat
throughout the dim bathroom. Bloody Mary,
I sterilized the gray,
worm-like scars on your stomach.
Your wrists and ankles
in stirrups, chained
to faded porcelain,
I removed your uterus,
and kept it in a jar, on my bedside, submerged
in water and formaldehyde. I fed it fish food flakes and
a slavish existence,
analogous to a pack of sea monkeys
for many years. Until I grew
Increasingly, you and I
are drawn into disrepair. We become elbows
and knees struggling through
an old-timey meatgrinder that churns out
sausage fingers and mangled testicles.
Under the lamplight, we emerge, crudely rendered.
Our viscera become diffident. Our effigies
verge on animal.
When I ask the cold oblivion to love me,
she becomes willfully obtuse. She pretends
as if she is the shadow in the corner of the bedroom,
imperceptible to touch. I sulk and make faces,
but gladly pay the taxes that contribute to the upkeep
of her moon-shaped face and lithe figure. I’m corrupt.
convalescence wanes. My mind begins
about the magic and technology of glass.