the poetry that matters

P.S. Kolek

P.S. Kolek is an MFA poetry candidate at the University of Miami and has recently had a monologue presented in The Krane’s production of Monologues Lingus and will have two poems published in the upcoming edition of RECONTRUCTION: Studies in Contemporary Culture.

Dear Paula

Uncanny is words – 
                                         you rise see used to hum among
                 your eyes refuse to come to tongue –
                                                                                           in the basement, lights dim or off-

                                                   ten deep breathing is an ally                               
                                          when grey bodies                                                                 
ten deep knee
                                     press civilized                                                     
bends doesn’t mean sex
                                       with secret                                           
in dreams, not even Freud
                                          murder in their eyes                                  
would guess you undress
                                                                                                     skin to dodge silence

You are a receiver of disintegration, spelled
                                                               correctly or not, crossed
                                                                            left or right –
                                                                                                         confrontation: first names said like mothers
                                                                                     calling from front stoops to children
                                               [ stupid is not a word
            that rides red bikes or       


                                                                                                          cowards in corners, full
                                                               stitched ledge-jumping lips ]

I’ve lied to you this whole time
I’m not the windup hero mouthing
                                                      You have never been stupid



Dear Paula,

you are more [ or less ]
                                               honest when you write to yourself
                                                                                                    These are truths:
                                                                                                                                         my body is a much
                                                                                                                                         unloved landscape, 
                                                                                                                                         its beauty disappoints 
                                                                                                                                         almost everyone
                                                                                                                                         sometimes I feel
                                                                                                                                         there’s no end to lack,
                                                                                                                                         no end
                                                                                                                                         to my lacking
                                                                                                                                         success is measured 
                                                                                                                                         in days 
                                                                                                                                         I don’t hurt myself


                                                                I have a $5.00 dollar head – the dollar
                                                 or sign redundant
                                                                              though sometimes
                                                                      redundancy actuates newness
                                                                                                repetition ≈ innovation 
                  Success could be defined
as riding a scooter through washed-out roads
                                                                           or not burning
                                                         the hamburger


Nobody dies
                           from lack
               of sex
                                        but to never feel that again!
                                Shall I purge the kiss [ from both our memories ]
                                                                  REGRET – 
                                                                                         and not regret – new to
                                                                                                        me an eroded mountain become tiny,
                                                                                      a cool stone placed beneath tongue
                                                                                                                        [ Tell me 
                                                                                                                                         nobody dies from becoming tiny! ]
                                                                                                                                 My thoughts crawl
                                                                                                                                                                back into themselves
                                                                                                                                                   again, black holes
                                                                                                      from which NOTHING
                                                                                                                                            emerges – or remains frozen – 
                redshifted light never <                                    outside observers
And if the light
                      changes none of this………………………………….…………………………………………….………………………?
                                                                                                                                                                                          Was it fate
                                                                                                                                                         I came so close
                                                                                                          to begging yesterday
                                                                                                                                                nearly happy with breadcrumbs
                                [ Salient language ( two parties in even argument ) over a telephone
                                                                          is nearly mute
                                                                              an un-moot point ]
                                                    You’ve become complacent!
                   All the ways I have to make you bleed    – 
                                                                                                        punishment compelling you
                                                                                                                                            to believe in god
                                                                                                                                      [ the object of my affection, the
                                                                                                                 Object d’art…
                                                                                                                                              a double flag: purple 
                                                                                                                                              and red ]
                                                                             Perhaps both you and I
                                                                             can fix this ░ who does that
                                                                             when someone says, 
                                                                             I feel suicidal … 
                                                                            To shuck our skin ░ they’re only 
                                                                            trying to help ░ is at best 
                                                                            a distraction
                                                                            the future is ≠ 
                                                                            to feeling good again
ps.  I should have written 


The Beloved as a Series of Gazes
                                                                                                                                                                What can you hold in a
                                                                                                                                                                              four fingers &
                                                                                                                                                                              thumb, a bird, a
                                                                                                                                                                              kite string [ ? ]
                                                                                                                                                                       A kiss on the palm.
                                                                                   I let go the bike handles
                                                                                                  all across Red road in the dark
                                                                                             [ without looking ] .
                                                                                                                  I double dog duck and deliver:
                                                                                                                                    Dear headlights,
                                                                                               Please, don’t notice me.
                Let someone else explain
                                                       for once for I am heavy tired
                                          of talking.
                                                                                                The cats circle me
                                                                                                                      eye-shine green and whining
                                                                  I feed & pet & sleep indoors
                                                                                                       not lie for hours on a hard
                                                                                                                 stone bench, the light plunged
                                                                                        to earth and buried
                                                                                                                     beneath the mango tree.

And in the room there’s strangers
And in the hallway there’s strangers
And in my bedroom they’re strangers
And I am here on the hard wood floor
                                    please hold me, please smile and kiss me. Put me on the burner just for now,
                                    just to feel the heat, the frying pan in your hand
                                                                                                                                      its heft and balance
                                                                                                                                      the heat’s black iron




There are Two Motorcycles: Those Already Crashed and Those Waiting To

Skinny white boy
                   from Illinois                your posture,
             private smile
                                 you take the stairs if I do –
                           our steps attuned to one another   

                                                                                    [ safety margins less than they should be ]

                                        When it’s time for you to go
                  you’re gone
                               before the gone reaches me  →  not faster
                                        than light, certainly,           but
                                                                       faster than the time it takes thunder
                                                         or Goodbye to register

                                                                                                            Are you prepared
                                                                                                                                             for me to kiss you
                                                                                                                                  without guilt?
                                                                                                                                                       This may be the last time
                                                                                                                                                                                      my therapist
                                                                                                              will allow me to say any of this…
                                                                                                   [ To hold your hand this last day! ]
I could try to forget you
                                     could try

                                                could probably

                                                                                    Not a chance of rain
                                                                                                      in winter Miami
                                                                                                                                       but it’s nearly spring now,
                                                                                                              the roads slick beneath my tires

                                                              [ We’re all adults here ]

                                                                                                                                      It’s strange how the stars
                                                                                                                       are upside down
                                                                                                                                                              the moon
                                                                                                                                            a sad smile
                                                                                                                                                          instead of crescent

                       Say,  You won’t see me going                           [ to the grocery store without my helmet ]

                                                                                                Collision: noun
                                                                                  1. two particles exchanging energy
                                                                                                                                       2. encountering
                                                                                           a skinny white boy from Illinois

                                  [ Most accidents have a “me” factor in them ]

                                                                                    *   *   *

I’m buckled
              but sometimes no amount of prescient safety
                                                                          can keep heart from leaving body
                                                         If you’re driving too fast,
                                                                                             there isn’t always time
                                                                              to stop

                                                                  [ Yeah, that makes sense, too. ]

                                                                                                                                          You say,
 Unavailable turns me on.
                                                                                                                And if the diction
                                                                                                                                                         becomes available ( ? )
                                                                                                                        what will be said of your passion

                                                      My scooter will do
                       65 mph > 88 feet per second                                                                                 [
You can’t always
                                                                                                                                                    stop in time.
                                                                  how soon I can reach you
                                           you’ll say when I arrive.                                                [
A scooter goes
                                                                                                                    where the rider looks.

                                                                                                   Will three months do or
                                                                                                         are we are lying to






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