Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 31, July 2013—Mixed Form Issue)

from Salamandrine, My Kid

[In Which a young, isolated, possibly deranged mother in Indiana decides she and her infant daughter are vampires.]

13.Thomas Hardy I’m thinking of selling my kid but not my wife on the Internet. Not my wife because I don’t have my wife on hand she left me, and by my wife I mean myself, and by my husband, my kid’s father, who is always pretending not to be a vampire, through no fault of his own, someone has to pay the bills and sleep at night and purchase the allnight Internet service. I’m thinking of selling my kid for some grog, because my kid is getting in the way of my destiny. Is it gruel or grog? Without my kid I have a better chance of becoming the mayor of casterbridge, and of grog, and of my destiny.

Seriously. When I look at my kid it’s like my flesh falling off my face it’s like aging many granite centuries it’s like being in sunlight. The gentle, corrosive enchantment on my skin.

14.My kid and I are trying harder. I’m setting the example, here. We consume a field of corn. It’s gold and burns the throat, all husks and sepulchres. When we see a harvester we duck into our car. The harvester burns by, of course like a harbinger, and like a harviture, indestitude, what’s that. It’s strong and paltry because defined, it moves its mass up and down the gridded field, the field is in fibrous layers like muscle but made of a husky matter, the combine’s bustle must burn to the touch but who could touch it but the huge exhaustive grainy investiture it tugs behind it like a shower of gold. Like a randy god that got too close got its toe caught in the mechanicals.

I got my eye caught in the mangle. I’m seeing mash-eyed. My kid is squinnying thru the marrow in the pork chop on the wide dull luck of the plate. The tabletop pretends to be wood for awhile. Font of life. It’s wide as a windshield, greased with love. We swallow a lot of bullshit about small towns, co-ops, steely cylinders of feed, pie, flags, groaning semis, a lot of bullshit about coffee, three-wheelers, quarters, American breakfast, trailers, hardtops, hair salons, a lot of peepshow about a motel. No semis here except bobtails. The fencerails and highwires are thick with bobtails, they perch their horseless cabooses in system-busting polygagging flocks.

American owned. Family operated.

15.Owe owe owe owe owe we owe owe we owe owe owe owe we owe wowed

Owe owe owe owe owe we owe owe we owe wowed.

Owened. Speedthrift. Windered, spedthru, spider wow.

Owed and wowed. Owed and wounded. Owned and windowed. Owed and wow. Wondrous wow. Wondrous eyed. Wondrous forehead.

Owed and owed, owed and opened

Fabled, vapored. Walking woman wove an oval novel vow.


O be wed.

O be done it.

Down and dusted.

Ode and wowed.

Ode and wowed and wounded. Oven-saw, that everyone has heard.

Sewed a windburn everyone has wowed.

Severed an ode owned ode crowed inlet winded crowd and wow.

Wined and dinedn’t, didn’t

owe woe, didn’t debit

didn’t credit didn’t wow

didn’t winded

didn’t ow-ow didn’t wow

didn’t voodoo didn’t double

didn’t woah-woah didn’t wow

didn’t dixit didn’t vincit didn’t vow

then and now

the toe-hold is a lariat

loosed a loose noose over now


Robert Frost?

Kara Walker.

16.At Tar-mart, I buy my kid a pink hooded bone shirt. Now she looks like a fossil. Her bones glow green in the dark of the tar. Dressed as a deodorized death, my kid can ooze through the ozoneless truckwash like any other child bride. I have a rendezvous with destiny. Noone can stop it. Noone can know it’s Death-in-life, also known as waking-death, also known as potential, pessimistic, also failure-to-thrive. My little pony draws death by the noose, by the nose, she likes to grab my nose or pull my lazy hair while she’s nursing which waters my eyes and makes my crazy come out. But it brings death to noone, except me. Mine, the bit my kid holds in its mouth.

The councilman from Florida talks to the virtual mother about her virtual five year old Q. But what should I tell my daughter A. Tell her you found her a sweet boyfriend who will bring her presents. Virtual but not virtuous, non-present, bring her presence, bring her a decoy posed as a mother the five-year-old posed as nowhere splayed out in the lap of the eye of the councilman’s mind in snapshots of nowhere flat squares without vanishing points and it’s nowhere that’s so frightening the blank nowhere in their eyes.

My kid and I have rituals to decoy time we have a chalice, a red cloth and a deck of cards. A taroc pack. I deal from the top. The little hand switches. The little doll barrel rolls with a spear in its gut, hiccupping, bubbles. The big hand rotates grave. The cat comes back: I sing to my kid while trying to recall the sign language from resuscitation class. Of our future, the cards say this: a gas album, an albatross, a big ice floe, a dancing double bear. A cloud furrows and grave inches closer. Make that a drowning bear, fear death by warming. The table shifts its legs restively, the pharmacy-themed bar hovers into view, opens its magazine, grins its staple teeth, its caplets, its buttons, only say the word and I’ll no longer be a capulet, a children’s chewable, an art-n-choke.

Ask the dead of the plot: how many square inches? I wave my hand over a trove of blocks, a plaything, a conceit. A wraith materializes. Come closer. Answer me.