sporklet 10

Nathaniel Klaung

Anecdote of the Stereo

Whenever I speak I am speaking
in tongues; it is awful. Mick Jagger


is beautiful but you wouldn’t want
his mouth; a ghost mouth


speaking to you, no through you,
from the past; The British Invasion


is a respiratory infection
love cannot cure.


My whole world, flattened like flowers
drying in a copy of Jane Eyre.


Still brighter years––
Panasonic mouth, super-sonic


life, and John sparking triplets in my brain
forever; drum-roll, I am speaking


to you & also throat-singing. Right now I inhabit
a song––dial me in; image of the sky jellied


around us. Moon-roof, paint us a picture to get lost in.
Lost speaker, speak to us and say somethings gotta give.


And it gives, and we take, and it takes. The car becomes
a matchbox; the tall-grass becomes a gang of matches


swinging low in the striker-tarped night.

Bad Astronaut

In this cold rocket I am shattering
space. My onesie is tight. Peanut butter is floating;
I try to catch it on my tortilla,
like a tennis champ at Wimbledon.
I am a poor player, a poorer Astronaut. 
The beepers beep at me sadly.
I wish I could beep back.
The levers ache for a fine maneuver of the hand.
My fingers yearn for the fine art of levering.


I have failed to be
A dangle of debris and everything
Tracy, I’ll never get to tell you how
when you appeared, I–– totally tangled
in your frock after volunteering at the after-school
craft workshop. In this ship
I stop thinking and then I start thinking.
I will be buried, suspended
between dim watts
A sad ornament
in orbit


I have a plan
that doesn’t require a plan

just some pencils.

Excerpt from the Diary of a Found Object, Fallen into the Hands of a Backwoods Sculptor

Do you like
being alone in things? Subways,
buses, memories. I heard you


say, oddly enough, I like not being
alone in this––by which you mean we,
as I'm tied to the base of a Pine tree


with ecstatic-orange
polypropylene rope; my captor


will come home soon, to this damp,
where he does what he does


as you flash
like a saw-blade above his scene.


In a charcoal wool coat, carefully
tied––I am ready.


I am steadying
the maroon-stained Liston.


I am trying to say goodbye.

The Animal––Amity, Oregon 1901. Excerpt from the Diary of a Daughter.

I struck out into the damp with my splitting maul, I thought
cleaving Douglas in two the right thing to do. We fell
into a blackberry bush, disturbed its daughters.
The father-stalk swung round us.
Gazing through thorns, the sky associates
to our eye, you and I, all the while I wanted to die.
The real way.


A tide holds the hull, feeble grasp realer than
hope––fell into a well, voice echoed like the man who spins
she predicted God & life leapt––out of him.


I refuse.
            A trick is a trick.


I stubbed all the wicks in the house––my small fists, clamoring around,
hoping––dreading the news of father’s death; he left three
weeks ago, alone––the horses snuffling––indifferent, indignant company.


I studied books. Could barely touch life itself.
My mother’s heart launched, pitched into rib, as Thunder
sought a false-threat with his newly trimmed hoof.
I need to die. I intend to.


Father is drunk, frozen-dead in the wood.
I close my eyes, see an animal leap
from the prow of his head,
plowing life into dark––,


As the boat in the harbor floats listlessly.


They are no longer waiting.

The boat dreams.

Nathaniel Klaung is a poet living in Chicago. His first true love is visual art. Nathaniel graduated from Knox College in 2016 with a degree in Philosophy. He has now turned his non-poetic interests toward Outsider Art.