Exquisite Corpse
Dominique Alexander

Diner street U.S.A.

"good morning" spills out of her slack mouth - i can see a puddle of drool gathering behind her bottom teeth.

"you've got to be joking" runs in and out of scaffolding and bicycle railing with firework echoes blown apart in the wind.

bile splatter and whitewash splash back street runners intersect with giant rats.

starched shirts and stiff pants pocketed four red tiles: two in each pocket.


imagined the bottom line of her shirt to read "STIFF ME" on the train back from Paris - hands of melon gone sour slipping off the metal railing you open your own stop. little girl drags bird around with string - grey halo buzzing individual careless hairs - sorry. learn to say "can you tell me - is this number one or five?" four giant letters spell out "SUCK" whitewash on black over four identical red tiles; you carry a picture of knives with your melon hands gone all sour on the bottom line Paris shirts are slipping individual careless halos - dusty stones rising up over steps lead out carry me home on your number five (identical red wagons run on metro tiles) learn to say "is this letters can you tell me how to suck back whitewash?" stiff me; recall i can look at it from a distance and never actually goes up all the way to the "she screeches bitter nerve endings at night i can't rest." strident bird cries strings shooting from beak - attaching themselves to Paris shirts slipping off little girl shapes. whitewash boredom halos orbiting on invisible flight paths breaking for morning (if that appearance of twenty or so small wax men melting in desert red light).

radio flicker jumps you fall out of bed - breaks for morning. snacking hours; busted old souls cry out of bird beaks at four suspicious letters railing off; can't rest.


"i'm just earning my keep." - a spherical mass is speaking to me through corn husks. the day was fading into corners of the field; we followed our gait back towards the house. this house was a large trench sheltered by two long walls of sheet metal tilted inwards to an intersection. the narrow walls were lined with bottled ointments and glass jars of water and peaches and coffee grounds. the sounds of tape reels mounted too narrowly onto makeshift yokes inching along through recordings of wire-drawn arguments echoed from the opposite end of the trench and kept me buzzing at all hours. the days were short. in the evening we were strung up to the peak inside hammocks. there were eight of us living there at the time but there had been more before. i could watch the sky darkling through the narrow gap in the metal wall before feigning sleep. the arguments were kept going all night by smooth hands operating in the darkness. the old man would walk over to chime in once or twice throughout the night; i could see his fantastic glassy eyes approaching from a great distance outside the house. with the sun up, two boys would come and flip my wiry frame out of the rag hammock onto the dirt floor. i could clearly hear sheep outside.


"the march of the non-smokers"

Turn around time: about twenty three

Kids flying like kites through storm clouds heavy with silken tears

Border the "good morning" breast plate - assorted meats on the rooftop gazing upwards at firework echoes

Sitting steady in puddles of saliva bordering dental plate slack mouth waitress

"you've got to be joking."

Published in Out/Words #1 (view contents)
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