sporklet 9

Kristine Sloan

Summer Catalog

In the staging of a pink-gagged dominion, I’ve set out
to prime and tease the ruffled machismo empire
with seasonal mesh slip, a platform for ambient
abrasion, solipsistic poise.  I know how to inspire


a nation with one strike of a pouty lip, fierce an engine
into vampy carnivalesque paying tribute to chivalry,
vitality, love—whatever materializes best on a day
of unhinged caricatures.  Who can honestly


be blamed for all this when I could be yours,
become the muzzled viscera, cash crop and all,
drunk on the rot of her own mirrorsport. 
Who and what molds dictums into fashions,


fashions into surface warfare understands the grace
of an organ point, the ticking of soft-tissue beneath
stereotactic sacrifice, having lingered too long
on a diet of window light for the sake of satin


loyalty spoiling itself on whoriential leopard print,
which I don on and off along with a camo tee
spelling out daddy’s girl across the tits, so everyone
knows I’ve pledged myself to such higher locomotion. 


That the body can be progress, the mind, destination,
and the fatherland just another target at which to deploy
my cheeky petite means I’ve been grasping too long
for the seniority of a nightstick.  Yet in the face


of object denial, I still want blood and guts,
Belgian chocolates, the hairsplitting amenities
of bougie heroics, to scare the gentle breeze

back into you sleevelessly with my cold heart. 

Self-Help for Self-Worth

I’m sitting here thinking about you
which is to say I’m thinking about me. 
I’m tired of being bound to these
habitual vital signs, exitless periphery.
Always the question what do I have
to lose?  I’ve already punctured
your pony show, raised the stakes
for every lone wolf provocateur
cruising the golden rule into dead
heat, rustic rude bootlicking his own
cruel world.  Like I care.  Like I’d
stomach another sing-along, at most
a bad excuse for a hardened exercise
in all the old abstractions.   I’m detached
from myself, can reduce myself
to the gloss of my gridlock, so prized
and damning.  Just the thought of writing
myself into the niceties of liminal
enterprise makes me want to piss off
the proverbial man.   I guess I could say
I once felt a roof over my head, marked
its edges, noted the placement
of myth, but what burns in regularities
bores me, and what can be considered

“hope” only serves such masters. 


General Audience

I wear my speaker like a faux fur
number, commanding her blood pawns
for some element of truth, not simply
feisty roleplay, not just an untethering
from salt-of-the-earth metaphors.  She’s
better and worse than me, will pop off
below the belt, will hustle age-old
playbooks to push cadastral into
coastal, coastal into a slick,
honeyed depth charge ready to
explode.  She is borderless and
without warning.  She is my identity
fantasy, the juicy bits of an all-consuming
rot, my exercise in poor taste.  She is
extrajudicial beautification, and she
knows too well that she is the window
to my soul.  She knows who I am and how
I wear her because I am sea-girt
made humanoid, a vesseled
revisionism.  She and I create
cravings for the idolatrous caliber
of textual betrayal whose primary
machinations are a clapback fabulism
made, markedly, by the faith that something
will always come of ash: always yet never,
romance of how conviction makes itself
real in the privately pulsed because,
honestly, aren’t we all writing
from some low-hanging absence?
Together, we are within earshot
of your god-fearing art.  We are
unstoppable.  We are one, the same,
and you should know we’re all about

shooting the messenger.

Kristine Sloan is an MFA candidate at the University of Wyoming. Her work has appeared in Yes, Poetry, smoking glue gun, Reservoir, TINGE, and The Margins.