sporklet 12

Amorak Huey

Poems Autocorrects to Porns

which doesn’t make sense because isn’t porn like soup

or fog? But maybe so are poems, maybe

we’re all tangled in the effort to give language

to our body’s cravings: the human condition,

in other words. My phone thinks

it knows what I want. Maybe it does.

My phone can talk to clouds after all,

can turn my voice into zeroes & ones

& put it back together on the other side

of the continent, in my brother’s ear

when I call to tell him a joke I just heard

about the lonely Cheerio. There is no punch line,

is the punchline, & I don’t get to hear

him laugh so often as I used to.

He calls me brother, & we hang up

& go on with our lives, I’m wondering

what my search history says about me—

that’s not true. I know exactly

what it says, I’m just not sure

how embarrassed I should be. For years

our favorite was about a fuzzy dog,

a really, really, really fuzzy dog

who wins a series of fuzzy-dog contests,

until finally, at the most prestigious

fuzzy-dog contest in the universe,

one last judge takes one look at the fuzzy dog

& says, “Doesn’t look that fuzzy to me,”

in other words, the human condition.

The point isn’t the dog anyway,

it’s to make the telling take as long

as possible. My brother was always

better at that. Some comedian had a bit

about how many porn movies he’d seen

the first two minutes of. Similarly, I have

read the titles of many poems. I remember

the set-up of many jokes. It’s so easy

to get lost in the other words, is the point,

to say one thing & mean another,

easy to see how such a mistake could happen.

Amorak Huey is author of the poetry collections Dad Jokes from Late in the Patriarchy (Sundress, forthcoming in 2021), Boom Box (Sundress, 2019), Seducing the Asparagus Queen (Cloudbank, 2018), and Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015), as well as two chapbooks. Co-author with W. Todd Kaneko of the textbook Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury, 2018), Huey teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.