sporklet 6

Patrick Samuel




bored in other
males dying
to tell stories


sometimes I think
I’m not civilization
way up high

in them mountains
mass buddhist sky


deaths purr
from the solitary
helicopter dropping


without even a sack
a tree that’ll sprout
rooted in my chest


the list
the village had me
sent to retrieve


eventually stumped
into cabinetry

piling compost off where it won’t creep in through our windows

drawn from an alcove
is a dark knob—
the ink’s so I want it


around my neck like a trinket
brought home from war


a crystal roosters throat
mined from the bones
of earth


counterbalancing magics
the scarecrow I tether
to this landscape
because you have air
I shouldn’t worry


confirm the animal
scrape and oil skewered
away from my children
however hypothetical they may be


when avalanched, spit to find up
like bubbles in a car
that’s careened into water 

jam I’d made remained etched on my spine

as if it were jewelry
in a sandwich
bag in my pocket
off to pawn

and grew a tree
no one attempts to classify

went around asking
folks to carve
their initials into its bark


went around until folks
were left carving
into the bark already carved in


I don’t mean
salt my gut
that’s been cleaned
like a fish
by my father
under weight
of moons
in planets
I never could
cruising altitudes
about the cabin
when the fasten
belt light bump
has pissing
cursive in snow
hard with only
blood rush

anymore than
I mean cicadas
under foot bronzed
for earrings
catching like walleye
with the grain
frozen lake
in my hand
from its gill spike

by myself with a stranger behind you

I know nothing
of behave this body
as if the sun and moon
during eclipse dressed
for the job with holes
in my underwear and socks


I work too often away
from this field
within tighter languages
titers will always test
to keep healthy I drink fizz
every morning with eggs
some mornings
I have eggs and regret


a field to me is where it’s quiet
and then my dad shoots his gun
I’m never quick enough
to see the game blowback
from a shotgun is my version
of seeing stars


I hide secrets in kissy
emojis to my boo (what’s for lunch)
I am thirty-three
lovelorn and I know nothing
thankful to know nothing
so you’d talk to me for a long time
if you were here

union song

you had


    calling shoulders


can me open


   face my hair with wash
egg or snow


I want your rules
for dinner
parting my parts
like a country


the flus again
I blah 


I blah blank jack-ups


   I say the o-yawn


   even the sleep is hard

Patrick Samuel lives in Chicago where he earned an MFA from Columbia College. He co-curates a sporadic reading series called The Swell. His most recent work appears or is forthcoming in NOO Journal and Vinyl.