C.L. Liedekev – US-born poet. Attended life/college in New Jersey, lives in the state next to that state (PA, but won’t spell it). Published in his youth (my 20s) on websites, journals, and zines (which zines lasted more than a week in the 90s) that no longer exist (Death Blossoms, Gnome, TV Religion, Board, Story. The Avant, the Vanguard, etc) and most recently in some that do (Open Skies, The Red Hibiscus). He currently kills time (cliche/find a better word) as a propagandist for a software company (got the job diagraming sentences, executives thought it was magic), getting thrown out of FaceBook Poetry groups (4+), and keeping the ghost of the great poet/exterminator Jack Wiler proud.
How to be Still Forever
Punctuality is a fetish. - Alan Watts I will be shale, the line in the rock. Thin as cut antenna floating down onto the water - green slick with algae and worms, the flavor of exotoxin blossom. Everything that I am on that slim cut of rock. Every missed kiss, every failed test, and hate in my eye. All my fame crushed smooth into the bones of a thousand better men. I am the lack of moisture. I am the living countdown to my rest. The empty scrambling legs rushing to fall down the elevator shaft, Man’s war scream of an orgasm on the bathroom wall, ego unfurled, the injured eyes of peacocks. I will lay still, let the nuthatch’s nest well in my stomach. The ground beetles hunt my thighs for the taste of cricket and aphid. The mice warm in my mouth, their tails the metronome of my heart’s last beat in repose.
Death will Have Small Hands
Inspired by the painting ‘Love Wounds’ by Oliver Pocsik She was not she. We would argue, my wife with words of prey, my logic scrapped under her predator vantage. I curled in bed, hand over womb knowing my gears moved in the space below, my airship, but I was no longer captain. Not co-pilot, not an engineer. I waved from the safe fairgrounds, paisley sheets, and feather pillows. The luxury of knowing death will have small hands. Death will place me under a mounting pin. She was still not she. Though for most, we said she, or her. Never it. It was never It. Though it had crawled out of my wife, gears wet with the minutia of organ meat, hair filing already brown, skin clear as stained glass, she was a ship in a bottle, the bottle was now crawling on the floor, split open and the smell of prison filled the room. My wife laid in the blood for days, until it returned to her. The drain undoing itself. I burnt the pictures alongside the bones of the mid-wife. She would call herself she. That was the easy part. The bland tunic, the white below, a partial shroud no savior ever slept in. Its voice was grit in the teeth, the sound of metal chewing wood. I pretended it was mute. My wife pretended the cries were normal, wet and solid. They stained the wallpaper, burnt holes in the door. The help left during those years. Part of me did as well, the part that remained worked late, kept to himself, chewed steak quickly, and kept to stories of animals and war. She would tell me the same stories later, always with different endings. Her hands grasping mine.
Ain’t no grave
All ghouls are luckless gossips, all teeth and no mothers. Red, white, and blue thrift store shirts. No one feels right being eaten by bleached Rutgers sweat shirts. So they gaggle around the Blue Hole, it’s mine-made water mocks their whistles and laughter. Half drunk on road meat and shitbrown wine. The night animals keep watch waiting to fuck when the quiet returns. When hunger gets the best of the living and the dead. The next morning, the sexton blinks the sun out of his eyes. His daughter’s seizure kept him sweating against the empty exhaustion of sleep. The wife in sprawl with her arms in tatters, belly bloated in K-pin and fear. No matter how much you love you can’t hold the impossible as it screams itself into stillness. The empty grave, the coffin’s broken bones, the tatters of rot, another problem he can’t even begin to solve. So he starts digging.