The Bottom

Take out all the shelves—not
take out like kill—just take them out
of the house now
so all the books
become the floor & tile &
be barefoot for the ASMR
that tingles the scalp when walking
over the brush.

Put every single candle around the television,
all thirty-six soy candles & light them from left
to right. The television is sexy & relaxed
& everything on it is at risk of burning.

Open the laptop & share the experience
with whomever turned the webcam light
on without permission.

II.

So many of my friends have gone to death
in their 20’s which made them
(& me) statistically likely to take risks
that lead to death. It is difficult
to be both a dead person and a real number.

I live a few blocks from
the bridge where John Berryman died
& sometimes I go there & cast his poems
like spells the way Robert Johnson met the
peddler at the crossroads to trade his soul
for dream songs
& I keep going back expecting my soul
to be syphoned but
the Washington Avenue Bridge is busy
during the school year & pagan
rituals work best unobserved.

I think of the bridge when the gurgled pops of a mouth
suck in more water than it has
ever been able to too much

it is drowning.

Ear-fulls of water have formed
a barrier around the drowning
mouth & as it tries to spit out
death, the opening is filled with suds & hair.

III.

If you click here all your wildest dreams will come true.

IV.

My whole life I’ve only known one Walter.
He did not go by
Walt, but if you count Walter as Walt, I know
two Walts.
Walter’s mom sat on her plastic-covered floral
chair with a cigarette dripping on the
carpet shag & box of Lunchables in
her lap. Her right cheek was mashed into
the house phone
& her maschera was running all down with the smoke.
I observed
this from the doorway of their first-floor bathroom.
It smelled like cats but they did not
have pets. I followed her bewildered stare to the
television & witnessed what would forever make
one month in the year 2001 as
recognizable as two mouse ears.


M. WRIGHT has recently been published in The Rising Phoenix Review, Maudlin House, Barely South Review, and (forthcoming in) Temenos Journal. He is the winner of Weisman Art Museum’s Poetry ArtWords and was awarded second place in the Into the Void Poetry Competition. In 2017 M. will be one of the twenty-four featured poets in the Saint Paul Almanac’s Impressions series. More: wrightm.com.