Amy King


This is a lot of place,

This paper feels pulpy,

I want to spit this gum on your aluminum

roof, swim in unpredictable patterns

your inlet won't accept--

I can't read these, my own foibles, hers,

The piano's fingers stroked those

with knuckles, ash white, knowing

in the fondle what we say is not enough,

Just as the spider survives water,

we married in a fever, became less clear

than the drift, hole awash, engaged. . .

How I Got To Russia's Knapsack

I bought two yaks
but ate three, whole,
emptied of
my brain is its own head,
unsatiated hyena where
the water futures itself.
But, how can you rob yourself?
You can, and this is the one
testimony suicides fly from.

We are, so called, flapping
in the hickory wind--
We want sweet song and light
(on the hyper side),
a diorama of days
sounding boss out of work,
an underlying worker awake only
in the respiratory regions,
slumber beneath asleep
with fondness and sex-light inside
that Marushka doll--

Seafoaming remote memories,
the codebreaker you enlist
criminals each person
with a diet of the roof's mouth in acid
that tells us out, our fears
and their arms, how we protect
against faces not ours
that still cameo our dreams
in their grey stables, the bucking horses.

What is the smell of vegetables dying?
We're on the balancing vine
as village templates
seldom murmur our coordinates out
and I, the familiar, weigh less
than America,

the laboratories of our own bodies
whinnying, the dog licking for
a piece of my flesh:
shall I serve him in a teacup?
The giant holograms of our homes
loom in these photos
even as banks slide wrist deep
into the soup's ground. Duma mir.

My Love Isn't

Love the way you keep:

I'm a child when it comes

to sickness,

I've been in diapers

for a year now

wishing for mom's

correction of

the misuse my guts

charge my heart with

racing every time I

turn the corner

to sleep and awaken

half past the past

broken with ills

that clamor at

needles moving,

knitting out limbs

to stay warm with,

wrap around

a lantern love lit,

torso fire skinned

on the water rolling

through the mouthly eye,

a gaping stare

from lips that spell

the souls dragging

freshly-hewn people

mountains apart,

the inches

we crawled yesterday's

terrors against,

upon stitched horizon

who smiles

back at the palms

that speak such spirit

when pierced becomes

us, our very boots

we dance jigs within, we

dance the slog

until our feeble hearts read

names tattooed

on the sleeve's inner beast:

Be and be not afraid, O kindred

Brooklyn White Ink Party

Shame in everything, dying attention,
to become brave is shame too.
Can they finally engineer birds and bugs
that consume paper and twine
to reduce the size of fake nests
and debris that kills lilies?
Your concave thoughts:
you can never leave me alone where
I would be utterly alone.
The train goes overhead,
overheard between coffees, elbows,
cheap sidewalk cedar trees,
under this overpass with skaters
who bump solo flights midstream.
We're almost city
except I hallucinate you in the backs of women
carrying a tree home for some holiday
looking thoroughly like a leopard
with fish meat in maw and hand
painted toes, flickering smoke's butt
off the rim of your life, white wine
betraying an insecure party face
so that others hope you're vulnerable too--
I know from the etchings of my memory's mud
just how singular you go,
I parted the seas of geese and smelled whalebone
for luck, seizing the best parts of myself
each time you came, your orgasms
checking the power of this little life's death.
You don't know how
much you love
the sun until you find
you're dying, your death behind
the bedpan's fingers crushing
the vinegar of my blood
into some other thing, lovely
but not within command's voice,
the fall unfolding,
turning to lamb, a reindeer's cousin
scared the celebration's over, the hunters gone.

Chasten The Tail

This skin has known
the rich man's wife,
excited only less by the shortstack
of wants to begin.
I'm taking your dreams off
the floor where you folded them
gently and washed them to forgive
what it was you said,
such things, this is not
my sandwich in paper nor me
solely entering my laughter
to plunge ever after
even as I spill with smile across
the school's upper deck.
I am daft. Slow to become the milk
of gin taking over the expression of limbs.
We sail on
over faces unmet, catching winks &
colds between questions, whose lamb
doesn't mean less
for them even as I listen to the truth,
which is a presence
behind their private phone calls
I eavesdrop
and words from parents at teachers
hopeful that poets are not mythmakers
nor clinch revenge just by holding
a place at the table.
Instead, I read what I don't know
so that I may know
and climb the ocean's ladders
in time for the cruelest politico
on his way to Paraguay
who has knocked the wind from me
to let out a sigh heard
over cannons, I slap my image of him
in the mirror, tears that tell
nothing of relief nor anger
but a shrug as if to say
shoulders can carry when hammers
have said nothing, mammals
and writers who want journals to weigh
the butt of his soul, a knife's edge to sky

e-mail the poet at
to go back to the home page