c l a y t o n     t     m i c h a e l s


from [2] MONSTER







2  An industrial strength corrosive  made from synoviala fluid. His wife was upstairs the entire time, pretending to be asleep;  it is unlikely that she did not have at least some idea what he was doing. She opened her mouth  &  a swarm of  yellow  jackets came pouring out.

a When it became clear that we were going to hit the guardrail* you very calmly** took me by the hand.



* Starring Eva Marie Saint, who spends the entirety of the 23- minute film eating a single piece of crumb cake.

** Baseball & wildfire seasons begin at the same time.




6  Another name for the  Cleopatra’s  gripa.  Beware the man who always keeps his hands thrust deep inside his pockets. Remember Desire’s twin sister Despair.

a  We  covered our torsos & faces in shit* so we could hide among the bushes & the beasts** of the forests  could not catch our scents.



*  There  is  no  God. There is no love.

** Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut  up shut up shut up shut  up shut up shut up shut  up shut up shut up shut up.




7 The  parallaxa  &  other  variants in perspective. Truth is relative,  of course,  but relative to whom or to what?  It is a motherfucker;  the tectonic plates keep grinding.  Satan,  your kingdom must come down.

aWe were sitting on the roof*, sharing a left- handed** cigarette***.



* The night watchman carries a lantern made from the skull of John the Baptist.

** Milk thistle & thorny weeds tucked inside the cheeks of feral children.

*** At which point the metaphor  breaks  down & the conceit begins to collapse upon itself.




12 Snow angels. Snow globes. Snow forts. Snow blindness. Snow shoes. Sno-cones. Snowballing.


CLAYTON T. MICHAELS is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author of Watermark, which won the 2010 qarrtsiluni chapbook contest and was published by Phonecia Press in August 2010. He has been a featured poet at the online journal Anti-, and his poems have appeared in The Prism Review, >kill author, Makeout Creek, and LIES/ISLES, among others. He currently teaches at Indiana University South Bend, where he is also an assistant editor for 42 Miles Press.

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