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/

What is A Poet to Notice?

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