Poetry: Selections from Kyle Denner

Moiling in Paradise

My body

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.


your body

still wet,

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

it lived

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. 

In dreams,

convalescence wanes. My mind begins

to wonder 

about the magic and technology of glass.

Kyle Denner lives in Tucson, AZ. His poetry has previously appeared in Manastash and Blue Collar Review.


Post a Comment