We are pleased to present our next Poet to Notice: Kyle Hemmings
We hope you enjoy these three poems as much as we did.
Rooms with Broken Fans
What you took from the old house: a knot of sun dresses,
sandals & winter boots, five 40-watt light bulbs, a loose
coil of memories. Nursing your father through his morphine-
muted demise, getting your first period three months after
swearing off paper kites & summer street games, reciting
Psalm 29 before a kindly half-blind nun. Your mother was
as absent-minded as a cloud drifting over Southwestern
railways. An old letter from a college student 299 miles
away. It stated that during fall break, he’d lose his
virginity to you. You smirked & misinterpreted it as a
“donation.” In a shoddy motel room, where other voices
lingered behind walls, your bodies panted against each other.
You held your breath while he shuddered. You left him soul-less
while you drove miles to clear your mind. His words stuck
to you like head lice. You never forgave him for the cockroaches.
When She Leaves You for Spark & Glitter
It’d be better to burn the house slippers
she bought you over a year ago
than mull over clotted wounds
& granuloma tissue.
Better to water the rubber plants
& the tea bonsai. Don’t rock
yourself to sleep to the melody
of an old Elvis Costello. Or was it
John Mellencamp? Best not to sing
the words to that infectious refrain.
Back Stories of My Childhood Are Constantly Being Rewritten
The house on Spruce Street leaned from yellow to pea-green.
There were more uncles in the house than aunts.
There were two sisters who pulled me left to right, up or down.
The winner got the leftover analomy of my heart.
Summers were spent with stilts and sticks and in tree houses
that the future gusts shook down. The prettiest girl down the block
played with fire. We couldn’t explain our charred skin
to our mothers forever coated with Easter Sundays. The uncles
faded into their own cigarette smoke. I stopped growing
at the exact age of 14. The house was sold to a nomad without hindsight.
My wife complains that sleeping alone gives her the sensation
of sinking in quicksand. I get unexplained goose bumps.
Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Your Impossible Voice, Night Train, Toad, Matchbox andelsewhere. His latest ebook is Father Dunne’s School for Wayward Boys at amazon.com. He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com/
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