10 Poems by Friedrich Kerksieck


OUT OF THE HOUSE FAST

In the grocery line
you put the frozen OJ
against your fever
it melts & we go
to the lake & lay
down the blankets
the boy scouts can
watch we don’t care
there is no merit
badge I puke
an anthill
the ants look confused.
_____________________________________

OH MY, COUNTY HAYRIDE

I packed 15 sandwiches for the fair,
I put my leather hand in the leather
box & my rash hand in the rash box.
Ham, turkey, salt-pork, & mushrooms
were some of the sandwich’s toppings.
I don’t believe in boxed milk
& wouldn’t want to if I did.
_____________________________________

GINGHAM HELLO HELLO

The picnic is the same inside
as outside, I want the shining
light of Jesus in my life & I want
the milky coffee stain to mold.
You are scrambled like an
egg in a rock tumbler, you
are a queen in a hill of larva.
_____________________________________

TODAY YOU ARE COMING TO VISIT

Today I am letting
the bear get very hungry.
_____________________________________

WHITTLE IF YOU GET LOST

He turned into
a fossil over
night. A last
mistake. A new
rock.
_____________________________________

MAKE MY NOOSE A CANDY NECKLACE

I have an invisible friend.
He is less invisible than you.
I am wearing my own shoes.
They are very nice shoes.
_____________________________________

IT IS VERY EXCITING

Four pillars made
from dog hair
made this house.
Our perch is in the sun.
Quick! Run into
the parlor
there is a new
blemish to see.
_____________________________________

EATING OFFA DIRTY PLATE

Tonight let’s make
a teenage mistake.
I’ve never witnessed
a miracle I didn’t
think could be better.
_____________________________________

LIQUID CORNDOG

Gold Teeth
Gold Teeth
You are the song
not the sung.
Let’s forget
we have a past
together.

_____________________________________

THIS FOREST GETS ROMANTIC

No one leaves
the unprincipled light.
Stalking a deer
covered by rain-
coat & sycamore sap.
I am humble
in this gown
I look
at you look
let’s find new
branches
to hang
the wind.

_____________________________________

Friedrich Kerksieck runs Small Fires Press in Memphis with his wife, Gabrielle Trimm & two cats, Bela & Bip. He works as a freelance binder, box-maker & letterpress printer.