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Last updated:
January 2009


Amy King is the author of I'm the Man Who Loves You and Antidotes for an Alibi, both from Blazevox Books, and most recently, Kiss Me With the Mouth of Your Country (Dusie Press). She moderates the Poetics List and the Women's Poetry Listserv (WOMPO) and also teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College. For information on the reading series Amy co-curates, please visit The Stain of Poetry: A Reading Series blog, and visit her website for more.

This Pulp Feels Paper | Radio Sleep


This Pulp Feels Paper

This crutch is smooth corners
and shady leaves of fervent grapes
for the ease of your dialectic. 
Scratch that. This worm is not
what it dies from:  a note of key
that opens the very rib cage
by which you invite earth’s mildew
out.  No, again, I admit:  this mouth
should be what should be
becomes—what could
have been, had someone admitted
the mysterious “people”
in lines of bee legs and our shoes
that go one clubbed another
with hurry and fear and thorny
forays into daring dubbed
moments of love, the sentence
that gets you beyond your
head-burnt commercial script,
telling your you-ness
what a prisoner hopes to implode
with, but despite what I tell
you, that’s just it: this anchor isn’t.


Radio Sleep

Living in the midst
of pupils-up-the-sleeve,
I mean real rabbits, dirtier
than before,
we became our water’s
future supply. 
We futured the water.
At the onset of correct
vision, I heard you
flow in a voice decidedly low,
so much so
that they gaze down
the valley and see
the bull’s eye of Sunday,
a victim’s warm night,
open-hearted thoroughfares
on the nerve of useless eyes.
We were damaged
with disrepair,
the body replacing itself
with paper lanterns
in shadows of bones
of a midnight light,
chased by prayer. 


I’d given myself sideburns
by then, where none
had been collected,
rather than listen to an angel
with wings glued loosely
to radio prayers. 
Who else will make
the time capsule pass,
quick as silver,
small as thunder,
pools where wild horses ride?
We are in the wall
of democracy a balm
to defend the mirror against—
an ostrich never
buries her head or an egg
without a fable
to tell the truth against: 
When Russians used pencils,
we developed pens
at great cost,
just as a secret nerve
connects everything
in us too,
but we hold out
for stapled words
on syntax & grammar
to draw these maps apart. 


The prize-giving rowboat
with flailing fingers
dips on puddles of vacated cheer.
Without the sun’s right arm,
I become one less limb
on the face of insight,
melting broken crimson
thin enough
to flex the world against. 
Soon everyone
will behold themselves
in serrated teeth
that bear us out,
sacred fissures
in folds of flesh meets sky

(The Toledo has been a symbol of Pelikan's committment to craftsmanship and artistry for decades. The sterling silver sleeve is formed and chased by hand, then hand cut by a master craftsman from Spain. Therefore, no two are alike. Collected by enthusiasts all over the world, the Toledo once again stakes its claim as one of the most rare and beautiful fountain pens in the world in striking colors. Courtesy of “Joon Pens.”)