Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Tuesday poem #403 : Jake Byrne : THE HEART OF THE TOURIST IS EMPTY



To travel the world inside your own dumbass skull
And not disturb a single neuron in it
As last looks go you could do worse

Than a tower of flame


The sky is mouldy peach.
I am drawn to this evil pier...

Lignified steps
Wet with stinking dulse

You have your instructions.
Meet me at the gate where air meets water

Self-destruct after reading
Break only hearts take only photographs


Men are beasts! always
Pissing on the seat always

Shouting always slackjawed always
Stuffing their cocks

In your mouth


I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer colds. 


Lightning strikes the greenhouse
Again and again I experience

Sensation x

And x engenders pain in the world

Therefore I engender pain:

A bolt from the blues


Magic is happening here
My good bitch

He follows me up to the ersatz waterfall
Ass testing the seams of his twill pants

I want so badly for our bodies to communicate
A spirit tricks me into the eastern grotto


In the kitchen hot milk
Hits boiled ginger juice
Curdles into skin

A barrier that air cannot traverse


One perfect white specimen left on a bush
Of rotting roses

A beetle hidden in it
The heart of the tourist is empty


Crackle of fish skin
It is time to throw another thing on the fire
A man vomits into a dumpster

Wipes his mouth

The dumpster cheers too!


The rose garden is a misnomer.


Still pool
Surrounding a rose garden of your own
Carefully manicured




Ad nauseam


Hot ginger milk
Curdling on my face



Jake Byrne is a queer writer. His poem “Parallel Volumes” won CV2’s Young Buck Poetry Prize for 2019. His work has appeared in Bat City Review, PRISM international, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, The Puritan, and The Fiddlehead, among others. His first chapbook, The Tide, was published by Rahila’s Ghost Press in 2017. He is a settler based in Tkaronto, on the traditional meeting places of the nations of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, the Haudenosaunee, and the Missisaugas of the Credit River.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan


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