THIS IS HOW WE DECOMPOSE AND RECOMPOSE THE UNIVERSE ACCORDING TO OUR MARVELOUS WHIMS
I could attract a method if I sat still long enough
and opened to various mouths of influence.
Mind rerouted because of some edge or atomic chain
and the way a noisy petal bursts to my eye. Sob!
Maybe this is why I identify with decorative bowls—afternoons
of dust and nothing, waiting to never receive. Honey
instruments. A word that moves on the ground its whole life,
leaving trails of mucous, collecting parts, dying in secret.
Ideally there would be no spectators. Ideally there would
be bodies softly threatening against documents of installed
idiocy. I subscribe to the privatized drinking water, click boxes,
make futile mating calls to precision, logic, emotional
maturity, biodiversity, rationality and informed decision-making.
I respond to an email. Another arrives to replace it.
The subaqueous rummaging of all that’s heavy and beautiful.
The seasick mouthful. The hardening problem. Hands retreat from memory
foam. Rising ocean temperatures already killing plankton necessary
to support all marine life. Whales underneath everything said.
Tapering clouds wring like sponges onto a conversational valley.
There’s gum in the jaws of a participating half of a tender embrace.
Narratives trample onto patios—Suffering. Precipice. Love.
Empathy. Betrayal. Anger. Anger. Betrayal. Precipice. Anger.
Betrayal. Suffering. Love. Anger. Suffering. Precipice. Nature.
Empathy. Strategy. Color. Suffering. Something like love. I try to write
“I feel the same” in response to a confession, but mistype
“I feel the sand.” Sunburned on a stupid beach of zero ideas.
A logic grows, a white chrysanthemum.
It becomes very intense and external, like opera.
Emily Brontë’s Last Words
Oh it’s me we’re looking at
& we’re looking at it together.
I’m lounging on some kind of pixel
ated lawn chair. I’m the color
of pewter melting
on a bucket of peonies.
This is obviously upside down:
the image baffling
the domestic circuitry.
You can see my girl
organs through my skin,
which (the whole shebang
surface) is constantly streaming
Truffaut’s Two English Ladies.
It’s a humiliating and rare condition.
My legs have an opening
mechanism. The whiteout
springs to the unkempt thigh.
I speak the weather to you.
You speak it back. Lovely
outer coinage—how we go all
sincere. I see hegemony as
a hammock swinging overhead
filled with catalogues;
every once in a while
one falls down & hits you
on the workerbrain.
Am I the furniture,
or the pattern,
resting plaintively, on it.
is the stepdaughter
This replayed scene reveals
the tiniest ever pink
cactus in the shop window.
Give me it. That moonflower
we talked about, high
on the air arc. Give it here.
I stole all those tools
you used on me
& bloomed them.
Sisters or not,
if you send for a doctor
I will see him now.
Emily Skillings is a dancer poet/ poet dancer. She is the author of two chapbooks: Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear/ Small Anchor Press). Recent poems can be found in the Philadelphia Review of Books, Stonecutter, Maggy, Elderly, Bone Bouquet, Big Lucks and Poor Claudia :: Crush. Skillings dances for The Commons Choir (Daria Faïn and Robert Kocik) and presents her own choreography in New York. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series. With poet Adam Fitzgerald, she recently co-curated the exhibit “John Ashbery Collects: Poet Among Things” at Loretta Howard Gallery.