Like the skin on your four-year knees
your family of cats
had little to hide.
Your family of birds
father, feather, fairy mother
flying on a scooter
those early years in Jalpaiguri…

Where did it begin, those gooseberry winters?
Right there, nobody’s cat plunged
swift as fog and vanished forever.

You can recognize still
the gully uncurled into the evening library,
thin readers, half-shirts?
In your dreams
squeaky sandals
slipped inside comic book.

You would like to turn
turn through the uncombed locks
of continents left
of houses lived and fled.
Turn till your fingers are caught
in silken wings of a butterfly.
Broken.

Seconds before you knew man-lips
mangoes blossomed on your chest
the city garden soaked in
crushed afternoons.
Seconds before they walked miles away
rust and salt lingering
bells of anklets, lost
sisters watched peacocks and rabbits chase,
(their) pearly eyes clean as stone.

Those years of early alphabets
bleeding heart, a flower
or, sisters in same silly frills.

It will be easier to heal.
Heal from Michigan snow,
thousand faces, origins unknown,
if you stood in front of the old house
to touch the rotten floors,
with your moonish cheek
heavy still from the waters of Teesta.

You know this, the tangerine spill down your elbows,
the blot on your teeth and tongue.
You get two for fifty paisa,
the sickly chill of popsicles
in Jalpaiguri.

Mountains closed
on your four-year chest,
the forest beneath your flesh
remembers half of everything—

Popcorns drop,
Bur flowers too
from your hands
into the lake.

___

Bishnupriya Chowdhuri is from Chinsurah, a very old and very small town in West Bengal, India. She speaks three languages which is a blessing and a curse on everything she writes and doesn’t. She dreams relentlessly every night and in color.  Currently, she is trying to teach her daughter the difference between life and play-dough. 

I sit at my window, letting fog
drape over my eyelids
like a lazy, stretching cat

I am careful
not to open my eyes
not to break this moment

of transformation
(even if it is only in my mind)

my skin, new,
unblemished by yesterday’s
and tomorrow’s

Not beautiful,
but raw in this light
natural pores & birthmarks

No scars.
Not yet.

Because these moments
belong to the rising run
to the silent homes
and lonely dogs, howling
at an absence that can’t be named

All of us not yet searching
for the beauty we left behind

___

Erin Jamieson received an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in After the Pause, Into the Void, Flash Frontier, Mount Analogue, Blue River, The Airgonaut, Evansville Review, Canary, Shelia-Na-Gig, and Foliate Oak Literary, among others.

I have seen more snakes this year
than I can remember. They hide
sometimes, behind shrubs
and under rocks. Sometimes
they curl in leaves–still–as
I pass. Other times they
walk the same path as me,

and no, this is not a metaphor;
handfuls of snakes have found me
this year. They come out like
towns above the horizon. They
come out like rockets in the sun.

I hike to become something
other than a woman who drives
on roads. I hike to become
something other than a woman
who you could not love.

I wonder what it’s like to be
chosen for something
remarkable, something kind.

Does the snake understand?
Does it know I am afraid?
Does it know that it chooses me, over and over?
Does it know I don’t want it?

___

Ashley Inguanta is a writer, artist, student, and educator who is driven by landscape. She is the author of The Way Home (Dancing Girl Press 2013), For the Woman Alone (Ampersand Books 2014), and Bomb (Ampersand Books 2016). You can find Ashley’s work in journals and anthologies like The Rumpus, SmokeLong Quarterly, Tragedy Queens, and other literary spaces.

I think about you, in that clear open glass filled up halfway
I make you room temperature
If I print my finger in you and you’re chilled,
I let you sit countertop.
Then I carry you to Dad’s room, where he’s sleeping always sleeping
Where it smells like vinegar.

I take you to his bedside and I nudge him
He lifts up against pillow with all mustered strength
Put the edge against dry lips, I tilt you in

A swallow
Brings together two mouth sides
A rusty sigh

Thank you, warm/cool wet, for giving him
Comfort.
At least that.

Thank you, when the time comes that I put you on q-tip
And swab his desert lips,
For giving that relief.

I love you out that tap.

I drink you lots more now, that I want to be healthy.
I know now, if I’m thirsty, I’m already in need.
I think of you when I walk through neighborhoods, clouds shaping overhead.
The mist the fog the rain the snow.
I like to live where you’re everywhere.
Where it’s ocean.

___

Playwright Heidi Kraay examines the connection between brain and body, seeking empathy with fractured characters. Writing across disciplines and training in diverse theater vocabularies give her tools to live better making art. Her work has been presented in Boise, Idaho, regionally and in NYC. Recent plays include How To Hide Your Monster, Rajpurr: Tale of a Tiger, Slap! A Beaver Tale, and New Eden. Recent publications include Dramatists Magazine, Writers in the Attic and ZO Magazine. Heidi holds an MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts from California Institute of Integral Studies and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. www.heidikraay.com.

Cradle

No matter how I try to dodge it or what accidents
of fate get in my way, the green light persists
in dogging me like, well, a dog, or a light that’s green

sifting in through windows after hours, in my dreams,
or every evening when I sit on the back porch
and let go of the day, or every morning, same.

As today, slyly circulating around the edges, letting me
feel its presence enough to confirm its existence like a
gentle toothache or perhaps gas, but no more. Until

someone says a word, suggests I dive down into it, stop
pussyfooting, take a lungful of air and press down harder
toward my fear, like a bellows fanning the flame. It ignites

not all at once, but great puffs of black smoke show
something’s cooking. Then sure enough — crass
confessions burst forth like bombs —“I hate you

as much as I love you! Loving you is like pouring
water on a rock!” surprising in their excess
of both scales. Then bucketsful of tears and snot,

and then the deeper knowing, the one I’ve been avoiding
since I first stepped into the magician’s room,
the iron ball I’ve lugged around inside all these years,

since birth almost. Now I see it in that blush
of strange fire as something in which I was contained.
A shell for the embryonic me, armor against

the knives this world flashes. And there I lay,
for a moment at least the once and future I,
encased in cold iron, a cannonball

that was no threat to anyone but to him
who bore it, and was held by. Into a crack
the weird light crept, this green from a world

outside of time and not to be recovered,
releasing molten hues of red and yellow
and further within some fragile, sweet pink thing.

 

Black Globe

Head pressed near her heart
between breasts

slung with sweet poison
I read with the tongues

of temple and belly
against her unsure skin

a darkness that swarms
the unbounded green ocean

I have only just left
though it lingers on the fringes

of my body-cape. Two currents—
gloom of insects

dousing phosphorescent fire.
The fire is me. Was me—

the roofless globe pressed flat
to make horizon, eternity split.

The scent of green shreds away.
I gulp the globe of night, tuck it

under, craving its weight
to drown me back. A wave

shushes from that sweet lost home—
a breath across fouled waters.

Tether too thin to draw me back
I fall towards murky tomorrow.

Black blood seeps from behind
leaving markers in swampy ground

which I will read like mystic bones.
I surface sick and crying

into a wind that swaddles
like a straitjacket.

 

Nothing Thinking

With a fresh wind comes a little rain,
spreading squash leaves,
and gin. The bite of too much
lime, and a sparrow perplexed
by a full nest, empty feeder, me.

This morning I sat
in a brown room in a brown robe,
trying to think of nothing.
Now, with a green drink,
a green lawn, and green
trees all around, I sit
with the opposite problem.

The bird bath is almost empty,
too, except for a little dirty water
that sits in it, stirred by air.
I toss a cracker towards the birdhouse.
It rolls across the stone patio.
If the sparrow picks it up
it will only be when I’m gone.

But in this moment, startled,
he flies to a farther tree, even with
the hefty mayfly he’s caught
for his dear ones’ supper.
His chicks call. He returns,
hesitates. I drink, munch crackers,
move my pen.

The breeze seems to pause. Rain stops.
An opening in the clouds, some blue,
and the sun that’s been there
all along breaks through.

___

David Ruekberg lives and teaches near Rochester, NY. He received his MFA from Warren Wilson College, and was awarded a residency at Jentel Arts. His poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Mudfish, North American Review, Poet Lore, Sugar House, Yankee, and elsewhere. His manuscript, Hour of the Green Light, was semi-finalist in the 18th Annual Elixir Press Poetry Award. 

The faded paisley couch—tan and pea green and a surprisingly soft blue —was comfortable only after a few drinks. It smelled of mold and ash. And it was damp. It had rained a few days ago, twenty-four-hours-worth of steady thrumming. The next few days had been hot and dry. Still, the dampness was there. Deep. Perdita hadn’t noticed it at first, but the moisture worked itself up from inside the cushions, soaking her jeans and back to the point where she couldn’t ignore it.

She’d been focused on the fire at first, mesmerized by its fierce spitting, as if it were warding off evil. Perhaps it, too, didn’t want her here. Then it sprayed like a giant citrus squeezed by an unseen deity, juice droplets suspended in the air for a beat before floating away. A ballet of fireflies. Lilliputian fireworks exploding beneath her. Perdita could have come up with more metaphors had she remained wedged in the corner of the couch—that’s what she did when she found herself here. Turn things into other things. But she was wet and her buzz was in danger of fading.

She couldn’t hold onto the images for long, her attempts more like the smoke that rolled off the bonfire in a thick column and then disappeared into the night. Impressive, dangerous, and then gone. The fireworks were just sparks again, churned up by the newcomer with the tattooed arms. He couldn’t leave the fire alone and kept prodding it with a scrap of wood, rearranging sticks. Nudging logs, the thick, damp ones that wouldn’t catch. A moment ago she’d been able to conjure the image of him as a magician controlling the elements despite his clumsy wand. Now he was just irritating her, a guy, probably there for the same reason she was.

There was a lawn chair in her trunk. She’d thrown one in there for her niece’s soccer game last weekend, but she’d never made it—busy Saturday morning streets sometimes still kept her at home, too many cars in every direction. She’d left it in the trunk, though, where it rattled every time she hit a bump in the road. Her car wasn’t far—just around the bend, past the bones of a manor house. She imagined rising to her feet and taking the path to her dented Toyota, side crumpled like a beer can someone had crushed with a drunken fist. She would be unsteady on the shifty gravel. But then she’d have her chair and she could sit even closer to the fire, balance the heat with a cold beer. Dry her back. She had been closing in on forgetfulness, though, and she needed another drink. And she was half listening in on that guy’s conversation — the one with the arms she wanted to translate. He’d been in jail—just a holding cell—a few nights ago, and he wouldn’t shut up about it. Maybe she’d forget about the wet spreading across her sweatshirt and jeans like a stain.

It was the mustiness, finally, that convinced her to go. The impossibility of washing the smell out of her clothes. A sign of where she had been. Not at her sister’s like she’d told Dave.

Perdita pushed up from the couch, stepped closer to the fire. As soon as she was on two feet, someone else scooted around her and took her spot on the flattened cushion. Bumped into her with long legs. She stumbled forward and windmilled her arms against the heat, too tipsy to right herself and shrink back from the flames. Two arms pulled her back, arms sleeved in tattoos impossible for her to make out in the jerky light of the fire. It was the magician. He was sitting in one of the lawn chairs at the fire’s edge, and he’d dropped his stick of wood to catch her.

“Watch out there, honey,” he said.

She saw his face for the first time. He was younger than she was—probably early thirties—and decent looking. He was wearing a name brand shirt, an unusual sight at this makeshift campground, and was thick in a way that promised muscle underneath.

“Sorry.” Her voice came out dry, and quieter than the cracks and pops of the fire. She wasn’t sure he’d heard her. She’d been on the couch for hours. Silent, just watching, drinking in small sips. She didn’t want to miss the moment where she forgot. Where her mind went from stunned reverberating silence to the airbag haze to the young doctor’s eyes that couldn’t hide the truth behind his training, that gave away her loss before his mouth did.

“Have a seat.” The magician patted his legs which were stretched out before him. Perdita sat. The curve of the flames looked like unhinged snake jaws lunging for his boots. “You’re all wet,” he said.

The guy next to him with the bloodshot eyes—exaggerated in the harsh glow of the fire—reached out for Perdita as if trying to move her. To take her off the magician or to take her for himself, she couldn’t tell. The magician roped his arm around her waist and pulled her against the flat of his stomach. Protective, not possessive.

“So as I was saying.” The magician took a swig from his beer. Reached beneath his chair and brought out another silver can. Popped the top and handed it to Perdita. “I had close to four hundred dollars when I was booked. Didn’t get a dime of it back.” He laughed, a hearty laugh, as if he really found it funny.

It was warm here. This man’s legs solid. Maybe she didn’t have to open her trunk for the lawn chair, feel the tips of her fingers graze the fleece blanket she’d draped over the mobile box. Owls, eagles, and falcons that could be coaxed into gliding over a crib. She couldn’t bring herself to return it. Dave had told her it was creepy anyway, raptors circling for prey. But Perdita imagined the strength of their talons, the curve of their beaks, how they could see a snake in the dark.

She’d stay here, on the edge of the fire.

“What’s your name, then?”

She must have zoned out because the magician was now poking her in the side. “Yoo-hoo.” His was a sing-song voice, the kind you’d use to get a child’s attention.

“Sorry.” She swiveled to see him. “Uh, Perdita.” He was cuter up close. Strong chin and gray eyes and a scar above his left eye. She traced a finger down his arm, outlining a skull and a cross, a hand of playing cards, the ace of clubs on top. “Yours?”

“Perdita?” He crushed the can with his fist and tucked it under his chair. “Are you named after a goddess or something?”

“Hardly.” Goddesses were worshipped, weren’t they? Revered. Given offerings. Dave had once seemed like a god. A vengeful one. Every step, his boots stamping a hole in the floor. Perdita always imagined the apartment below her rumbling, old Mrs. Gordon throwing herself in front of her hutch, a crumbling human wall blocking her teacup collection, the one that had survived these fights before, had offered Perdita liquid solace from navy rims and tiny saucers that caught her spills.

“Perdita.” He repeated it. It sounded beautiful the way he said it, enunciating each syllable. How he crossed the T with the snap of his tongue. “Stay with me tonight, Perdita.” He sang it. A joke amongst their sort, crowded around this fire outlined in stones, a druid’s circle they couldn’t breach.

Her response was the very one Dave would have given. “Do you have any other beer?” She held the silver can up by her fingertips, the universal sign of distaste.

That was why she’d left their apartment that Saturday morning in the first place, when that Ford pickup had found the side of her car like two magnets colliding. He’d been out of beer.

The magician winked and reached back under his chair. He pulled out a six-pack this time, a good one. Her eyes weren’t working right anymore, but she recognized the peach label, the amber bottle. He pulled one from its cardboard bed and, one-handed, pried the cap off on the edge of the chair.

The bottle was warm in her palm, too close to the fire for probably hours now. But no matter. She closed her hand over the bottle, a gesture of protectiveness that should have gone to another. He said something to her—did she imagine that it was “Ta-da”?—and she answered with a toast. Bottle against can, an unfair, silent clash, but hers was the stronger one, and this her disappearing act.

___

Elizabeth DelConte lives in Syracuse, New York, where she teaches English. She received her M.A. in English from The Ohio State University and has twice attended the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Her work has appeared in Indolent Books’ “What Rough Beast” series and the raffish.

bugs was a bit of a problem in august . fucking spiders get gigantic . they born in spring . they grow really fast feeding off souls and shit all summer . one time i smacked one with the back of my hand . in the dark at nite in the tent . felt like a tennis ball hit me . got a candle goin and the fucking evil thing was hanging in the middle of the tent . looked big as a golfball . candle lite tent . and the thing is swinging back and forth . and one small candle flicker making the thing turn into a strobe lite monster . one foot from my chest . and everything is tilted in the strobes and i just woke up in the dark . reached out and touched a big hairy fucking spider . trapped in the tent with me . they wander in . even in the rare times when you got no holes in the tent . (duct tape) . they maybe come in holding onto me or on my pack . them still august days are full of spider webs in the woods . lazy waving single threads in the morning . hundreds of them in the meadow . each string molten in the sun . the big webs in the woods cross my path everyday . cruel spider in the middle . working hard all nite building a web . now here i come down the path . like bumping into a wall .  big strong late summer spider webs . the frickin’ ugly spider is like an animal . big as a mouse .

****

my special personal meadowwitda spiderwaves looks just exactly like tv . a television meadow with the wild flowers and the sunshine summertime heat smell . golden light and sparkle dew and chrome brite spider lines waving in the morning . beautiful and peaceful and private and warmed all through summer . and the dry sunlite smell . every critter hole and tree and every rock and flower and the view . and i lived in a tent on the edge of the meadow .

****

my lasting thought of the meadow is my clear vision of something coming out of the meadow . alien darkdark entity moving in strobe . a recurring dream that turned into a daytime vision . minor obsession . manifestation of anxiety . i can easily feel the monster in my head . never quite turns into a picture . just something always coming out of that meadow . sleeping bag late nite all alone . something creepy like a spider coming thru the grass .

sometimes in the still still august meadow i can imagine the awful thing in the daytime . me sitting in the beachchair . maybe a pause in the empty highway or a break in the breeze will trigger the stillness .  living outdoors on the edge of the sea i can feel the zacky moment the tide turns . the moment of most dead slack . dead slack low tide . all the tide currents run out . and everything pauses . before the whole of long island sound starts to slip into the opposite direction . dead slack low tide . and somehow it changes the air . it changes the pressure of the air . after the change of direction will come new weather for the day . often a change of weather comes with the tide . one past august at the moment of dead slack i looked up and a 30 foot tree on the edge of the campsite fell over in silent slow motion .

most of all its a night time fear about the meadow . the fear or the fantasy would occasional leak out into august sun . ominous shiver . unexpected eclipse . i look up from my book . august is lazy . august is languid . the heat is soaked into me all summer and my soul is relaxed . things happen . mostly momentary fear but over again for years .

***

occasional actual bad things would come out of the meadow . once a year adventurous dog walkers would come awkward chase dogs through my kingdom . d.o.t. guys . department of transportation guys . i only ever spoke to one d.o.t. guy but they were around . “everybody knows yer here” . the stress was always there . the d.o.t. guys were a presence . rare cop would come thru couple times . a priest . a priest with a cop . i stuck my head out the tent looking up at a priest and a cop standing there looking down at me . sun behind them . squinting up just like heavenly tv . i make a joke in my head . ”maybe i’m dead” . second thought serious ”they might send a priest but they don’t send a cop to take you to the good place” .

never met such a smug priest . cowardly too . cowardice must be a sin for a priest . maybe i read his fear as smugness . august heat and i musta been napping in the day in the tent . very hard to rest in the august heat and the bugs . i heard a guy outside walking around . close by but not danger close . the guy shuffled around long enough for me to follow him curious . visitors being super rare and i best know what’s the problem right away . i stood like batman on the cliffs and watched the little guy below checking his watch and using his phone . lookin both ways . shuffling and waiting   . ”can’t be good for me” i thought . one hour later the priest and the cop show up . dirty and heated from climbing the cliff . there is a gentle path that i always use but i keep quiet about that .

the cop is sixteen and the priest is wearing pink vestments . i’m shaking with adrenaline . it’s an awkward crawl to get out of the tent . when i stand up rookie boy in his police custume takes a step back . he’s scared . the priest is scared . they dint expect something big like me to pop up . child cop is fingering his gear . he wants backup but he dont wanna be a pussy . not so tuff without his buddies in the matching outfits . now he somehow lost himself alone in the woods witdis unknown scary guy . the cowardly priest in the pink outfit probly not gonna be much help . i got fifty pounds on the kid . plus i got the crazy eyes . little boy cop takes a automatic step back . they all do . i’ve seen women panicdrag their kids from my path on the sidewalk . today i like it but i dont push it . i’m smart . i’m humble . i give my standard alias . they know me . if i walk away from this i win . fuck this pig and his filthy fucking pig priest . i could murder these two easy . this is my place . we all feel it in the second it takes for me to stand up and stretch . i quick let the thoughts go . i tell my priest and cop joke . little boy police costume lets an exhale . all unspoken . its embarassing for                            police boy . any petty triumph now will come back to bite me later . soon as he gets with his buddies police boy will convince himself that it never happened anyway . and he’ll be be vindictive . we all agree to pretend that nothing happened . best for everyone .

the priest phone was nicked that morning . the priest works his voodoo at norwalk hospital . we can see the hospital a mile away across four highways . sometimes rescue choppers hover low around me . comin upwind to land at the heli pad in the parking lot . comforting patients and shit . seems one of his flock stole his phone . i instantly got a ton of thoughts about a priest with an iphone . firstfirst I gotta convince these two dickheads that i didnt steal the fucking phone . i wonder . this is bad . “pull out yer bible”  “i’ll swear on the bible” . my brain is screaming fast . i’m really smart right then . “my bible is on my iphone” “jesus christ” i throw up my hands . i look at cop boy for sympathy . what the fuck kind of priest is this ? too afraid to confront me on his own . he brings baby babylon with him . a motherfucking catholic priest goes to ceasar for justice . protection from the lowlow lowest crawlin’ out of caves .

ain’t i beloved of jesus? jesus loves the street peeps best motherfucker . my contempt for cowardly priest starts to heat . iphone? isn’t a goddamn godman ‘spose to be humble? or poor or something . defnity god don’t want his boys to be pussies . i don’t see this guy calmly steppin’ into the lion pit . this guy is the spiderweb politics type “priest” . at the moment i felt i would be forgiven if i strangle the guy .

****

cop boy does something smart . he sends the priest (fuck) off to look at the view . and now it’s me and him but he becomes an adult . maybe he’s a catholic school boy . town cops always seem vaguely irritated to be dealing with this petty bullshit . streetpeople petty theft bullshit . it’s small time . it’s the job but it ain’t glamorous like the cop super hero fantasy . james bond vin diesel to the beauty rescue .

Maybe the biggest lie possible is a cowardly priest . if you believe in god how are you frightened of anything at all? believer absolute . must be horrible inside that priest head . how can a sane man have no doubt? a reasonable man can’t believe absolute . somehow I was offended by the lavender vestments . some kind of hippy priest . hipster priest with an iphone . it was the fear i see on the guy that brought the contempt .

i can understand an iphone would make the whole priest business run smooth . you got the flock info rite there of everybody . names and numbers and addresses . donations . and notes about relationships and kids names and even a record of where ev’body is at on the believer scale . and all kinda shit . i have an obama phone in the tent . a complete written bible must use a ton of minutes . i bet money this priest has got a facebook page . hipster jesus posting daily inspiration and meditations and shit . zero brick and mortar bible on board of a priest seems kinda extreme to me . iphone bible is trendy . all the phony men of god get together for prayer . all kneeling down and each one holding his iphone .

seems like the cop doesn’t have much power in this situation . he has no personal knowledge of a crime or something . he’s pretty cool to let me know right away . “this guy wants to talk to you”                         police boy says . he ‘splains that the iphone tracker thing is not enough evidence for him to investigate . situation comes up apparently . copboy says very formal ”mr. priest guy has requested me to accompany him during his search for his missing iphone” . or some such insulting lawyer bullshit . he’s said it before . it’s protocol . lawyer bullshit disposed of . dickhead priest guy kinda awkward mumbles and fumfers through the story . we are all grateful when cop boy bends the rules to translate . ”tracked phone here blah blah” cop boy says ”those things don’t work too well”  he says cops consider it nothing . its not enuf evidence to investigate . but they will “accompany”    . i surmise from the translating that the cops do in fact actually investigate . tho’ by law they can’t . he just told me . told me they cant . while he was busy doing it . so its another minor moral and legal outrage of the day . even tho’ its helpful justnow . hard to be a cop .

cop boy says they wanna search . he’s young so he doesn’t try to trick me . cops often will say something casual like “mind if I look in yer bag?” . but they are already reaching for it and it seems that the words were only polite . you assume the cop can look at or in whatever they want . but sometimes the law says they gotta ask .

“mind if we come in?” as he pushin’ on the door . it’s a lie . they very good at it . even a street junky can be shook up and manipulated . copboy actually ‘splains ”we wanna look but you gotta say ok” . it seems semi human to me . but it also sounds like more lawyer bullshit . ”be careful . we have no evidence . go investigate” . the old bull sarge sent the kid cuz he knows about the cliff .                               “its bullshit . send the kid” . also tho , sometimes the cops just really dont wanna find anything . bullshit situation . bullshit duty . dealing with the street people is not desirable duty . they just don’t even wanna escalate the thing to where they gotta do something . its just all a useless pain in the ass . the real street people don’t have enuf money to get in much trouble . search for one bag? crackheads don’t leave crack lying around . that shit is gone . search for a filthy disease needle? the streetrat will be out and back in a couple days . he already ran my semi clean alias . i admit to a minor offence so it hides the major shit i’m tryna hide . the pigs use all that corny obvious good cop bad cop . it’s obvious cuz it works . so I can do the same . he knows i can’t be here and be completely clean . so i’m good . there is no questions about who i am . just a sad hassle all around . ”if i have a choice i not gonna pull my stuff outta the tent” . the priest uses some other phone to call his missing iphone with the missing complete bible . the priest dials the number and then holds the phone near the outside wall of the tent . he acts like he needs to get the signal up close to the missing phone in the tent . he walks all around the tent staring at his screen . waiting for a ring from inside the tent . for a moment i felt guilty and worried that the missing iphone had somehow magically appeared inside the tent . my murderous rage meter climbs to bible level fury . thunder bolts start to shoot around my head . priest and guilt , what a surprise . that’s when i walked into the meadow . pointless cruel stupidity from a priest .

this guy was smart to bring a cop . he must know that people don’t like him . the lies inside him have created panic level fear all the time . and the sweating . the coward priest fears that his doubts will be apparent . he’s defensive . he’s offensive . he’s an asshole . i may have thought up the outrage later . during the inquisition I stayed on the goal . be nice . get away from this mess . me and the boy cop look at the meadow while the priest looks at his screen . ”fucking priest has two phones?” i woulda be logged into the computer at the drug program during the time of the heist . ”i’m logged into a computer downtown across town at that time”   i tell babyboycop . its not even necessary . boy cop was convinced when I immediately asked for the bible to swear an oath . it means something to him . the iphone bible doesn’t win the priest any points with this choir boy . it’s distasteful that the priest has got no actual bible with him . just for tradition . a nice comforting book to hold hands with . for the comforted . grief dont want no fucking iphone bible . priest dashes out into the worldly world searching for his missing iphone but he doesn’t stop for a microsecond to grab another bible . priest storms out for gods vengeance, forgets to bring god with him . real priests always got the news from the home office . they always got a damn bible .

young cop has lost the zero interest he originally had about the stupid phone . he kinda gestures around the place . the tent . the beach chair . the clothesline . me . dopey kinda helpless dumb look . ” i don’t know what to think of this”    the campsite and the meadow and the view and the cliffs . he wants to forget it all . ” i gotta ask my sergeant about this”    ” don’t go anywhere” . but its bullshit . when junior g-man gets back down the cliff he ain’t comin up again . this episode is a wrap . fuck you pig . workhorse sergeant already knows i’m here . i don’t see them super pissed about this . i gotta be somewhere . they talk to me less than once a year . they seem annoyed about “accompaning” these lost iphone gps tracker citizens . it puts the cop in an awkward position . rare limited power position . such a new problem that they got no real good system in place yet . it’s a nuisance . everybody knows to take out the battery . it’s standard junkydom . good money in them phones and they are everywhere . i hear stories . Jiro put his phone on his pillow at the shelter . turned to grab a shirt and the phone was gone .

Donnie with the dark shades always has a new phone . always wants to borrow a charger . ”lemme see what kind of charger you got” donnie is locked up about 50 percent of the time too . i avoided donnie just the other day . reminded me i gotta stay away from the spots . who would want a loud drunken reunite with street drunks . the relationship ain’t been the same since i drunkenly beat his ass that time in the cemetary . he said some things about this chick that i happened to covet at the time . when i told him about it he tried to knee me in the balls . television maneuver . i never seen a knee to the balls work in real life . it’s a tv move . looks great on tv . very satisfying . bad guy gets a knee to his holy holies . you really need the guy to stand still . plus we were serious loaded at the time . i knocked him down   and gently smacked him around a couple times . knuckles under the eyes hurts like fuck . tweaked his nose like a cartoon . i held him down to tell him i was gonna fuck him in the ass . Donnie was maybe the one guy on the street i would drink a few with . four dollar pints of Dubra vodka bought with can money . exact change can money nickels and shit . we know just exactly what it costs . donnie was one of the can guys pushing a carriage in the morning . we’d pour the vodka into a poland spring bottle . all day we refilled that thing and having it warm in my pocket makes the nasty shit taste like gasoline . a gagging infected tooth . medical . donnie was drunk for sure all the time but good company and rarely completely incoherent . i dont drink so it’s mostly forgotten .

phones disappear . you can’t really find them . lots of cars going past on lots of cross streets . cowboy says ”you can’t find yer ass with those gps things” . so the cop and the priest go away . i did semi expect the priest to come back . or i would normal expect an actual priestpriest to apologize for getting me in the shit with the pigs . even if he was convinced i took his phone . shepherd turns the other cheek and all . i always would semi expect the cops to show up at the spot . the priest incident only momentary enflamed the actual usual vague police anxiety . somehow i missed the picture of the dejected priest in the meadow . leaving without his precious fucking iphone .

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spiders are telepathic . spiders broadcast a creepy spider vibe . spiders wanna be left alone . nobody wants to be creepy but spiders dont even care if they ARE creepy as long as we leave them alone . i could feel it when I had a large spider in the place . could be odds . if you wake up to see a large spider in the tent last nite it is unlikely that you will see another one up close today . if you aint seen one in awhile you gonna see one soon . spiders are streamlined and tough little race cars . fierce and beautiful alien muscle tigers . sharks . seems strange that they should seem strange . we should love and admire spiders . for some no sense reason they are creepy . spiders dont care if we think they are ugly . they want it that way . surely spiders are beautiful to each other .

august in connecticut is offensively overgrown . aggressively fecund . warm wet woods . some gross womb . everything growing and reaching and moving and alive and everywhere all at once . heated swampy solid air . i am a water creature walking thru womb woods . i’m made out of water . the matching outside temperature and the 99% humidity make me feel like i could melt into the air . a wet cloud absorbed into the steam . i am a water planet swamp creature . it’s all too much . too much life . all so pushy . yer breathing it in . god knows what . the woods absolutely reach out for you . always touching . leaf caress . more and bigger everyday . growing the long summer . by august the touch feels like someone elses hair in the shower . and the bugs get on me no matter what . the bazillion bugs make the forest electric . buzzing and vibrating with busy living energy . the woods in august is sharply oppressive . the plants rule the world . you just can’t really stop them . i see a horizon of trees .

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adam j nelson lives in his head . in the woods . in connecticut . adam has a sister called dr tami . dr tami takes care of adam . cheeseburgers and laundry and concert tickets . dr Tami tries hard to get people reading about adam (in the woods) and his stupid stories.