the poetry that matters

Ryan Hunter Phillips

Ryan Hunter Phillips is a writer and filmmaker from Seattle, where he co-founded and heads artistic development for a small clothing line. His poetry has been published in Bricolage, from the University if Washington Press, where he earned his degree in Comparative Literature with a focus on the role of literary tropes in the textualization of oral history.

Untitled #237


Inculcating red                   Waves and repetition will be a


Sash that wraps                 Heavy thought reminding like dawn


Your worries electric           As they recede metronoming











A Request


Give it.


reason, you fuck, you love of mine, why I, though four

times as likely, (and empty my lungs) hear

of an E.M.T. unsheathing tarry 

“sleeve to inspect horizontal,” (should have been vertical, you fuck, you love of mine, vertical), “clotted” ravines, clever stanzas from the hungry gills of Ol’ Blade

He hid in the blamed purse.


The nights descended on us like a benediction, L, merrily, merrily, merrily, L.

Perhaps no biological gender, though Zach,

Pops, myself, we prove otherwise. I,

In those nights, you in those nights, we eviscerated well

Fell supine to fill

Pediatric spoons with “I

do.”  “Fuck you.”  “Love you.” “Well, L…”



We shine (Your words, not mine), quake in reunion / (But now Time cometh with my goodbyes)










Sugar Bones


Deter from the pomegranate’s tremolo,

I do, when the buds of my tongue peek

From behind the bone shutter to seed

The insidious pauper argument—

Charity-borne, repetitus, sand upon sand

In a war of attrition. There, the amethyst 

And mauve trouble the lock or spring

In a way that makes truth unable to be received.


Sweet sugar skulls to color the past for the future

For our dead and for our children.

This is what moves us:

That we never forget,

And what is remembered

Concerns the future, not the past.

The sweetness of juice

Lasts only a moment,

But ensures a little food

When the fruit is consumed.










Fast, Quickly, to Slow Everything Down


Gyrate knots            (In electric shock of throat pulses)

        And don’t code on the bus.

And flip or mark a page or two            (Under eyes that quiver in the eye quivers)

                             To: Midway upon the journey of our lives

                                      The hour of time

                                          seemed as if against me

Where deglutition of a deluge         (Of cardboard tongue)

                              Only seems natural


The             Somatic

      Psycho -


Where nothing becomes.

Where the stuffy Western separation

of mind and body withers in the shadows

like a paper sickle moon behind a heavy

silhouette of leaves as the sun rises

to steal their austere separation.










Untitled 142


The honeybee’s slick prismic reflection of dandelion yellow

sheathes its threatening fuselage of goop.

I cannot


in its accidental consequence,


the coincidence of my shadow,


in the comfort of skin’s smell



Forgetfulness is a boon I must bring home

from somewhere far away made close

if I am to build castles from ash and water

or raise an art in grayscale and promote

it before a river’s wall of gardenias.


But in learning the art of forgetfulness

I cannot remember my trade in the metropolis’ dementia.

Keep walking and moving and track of time

and the change and on keeping.


So I must take time to acknowledge the bee and

how it’s sudden yellow breaks the black distorted

reflections of a curtainwall.



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