Author: Dot Devota

DOT DEVOTA is from a family of ranchers and rodeo stars. She fled Oklahoma during the dust bowl. Poems can be found in Boonville, Missouri.

DEFENESTRATIONS: The Division of Labor (V)

W i t h  E v e r y  R e m o r s e  W e  S t i l l
S a w  E a c h o t h e r  T h e  N e x t  D a y. I poured you a glass of stolen honey, slept inside the glass until you felt full, awoke in your rafters where I bought my waking from, then dangled every waking moment to you below. You were in the kitchen’s oboe tenderizing loin while the cats wept. Dieties collapsed back into yellow walls. We had them pulled through the picture frames, then picked the frames apart and peeled sycamores into the photo, ousting all like a deity vanity scrub. Except we missed their pouty faces stricken from our seaside observations for good. And game gone.

( C o n t . ) Scores of pigeon shit mixed with paint powders. Fat brush strokes and quick decisions, which aren’t really decisions but wonderful tagging without color-coding our teams. Everyone is an enemy, and safe. We play off any mistakes by acting out the whiplash of a crash-test-dummy in slow-mo. Silly to want to miscarry such hard work leading up to the mistake. Even if the work wasn’t hard and all we’d really be losing is a lousy lime to juggle home. Basedness succumbs. All objects we throw into our oilslick.

( C o n t . ) The artist throws the shutters open, snapping clotheslines loose from the balcony of advice birds. It’s a credibility issue! The sock’s suicide we did to them, white boomerangs we wished would bring us back some news. Like a messenger animal we don’t have to train but just knows us, shows itself in a way that cannot simply be overlooked. Beautiful to watch from above, uneasy white against soaked cement, sometimes the tires miss but mostly there is damage. It’s rare that a spirit speaks to us in words.    Is a Geisha a messenger animal?     Is a spleen?     What if it is dead-detached and brought by your hand’s holy place?

( C o n t . ) I’m enough to come home tired and hear you play the flute, a cover of earth’s new audio recorded screams. The ionosphere preventing out-of-this-world waves from overwhelming all radio. What are we still doing here on earth? When there is music elsewhere we’ve never heard.

( C o n t . ) Direct or indirect consequence first? Before or after the latent manhunt? In a perfect world we would have been born without the other, but this womb only has one speed. At night on the panhandle irrigation lights blink. I know you’re out there through miles of hemisphere not turning tricks so I don’t have to either. Thank you with a surgeon’s soup, recuperate the fall-out while earthquakes rally finances. We can barely hold our spoons silent. The window you exist beneath is a brilliant divorce from anything I’ve ever had to dumpster dive for. I’d nail you shut, but glass stays evenly between our heart’s burial stance.

( C o n t . ) I can’t imagine the laughter braiding me behind your funeral. Studies the dark countess into a vegan village hiding in an ice-cream cart. What is this dairy disco? Your tie is crooked when my elegy reads like an umbrella wasp trying to tack the first thread of papery pulp from saliva and chewed up wood fibers into your cornice so she may have the place of a lifetime to hide and live in its book.    My tiny winged shoes. I go out,     You go out,     a spoon of mud on wallpaper.

( C o n t . ) I have a feeling I’ve been feasted on before. My eyelids sour to a crude calligraphy, shock resisting you for the umpteenth nightless sleep where a door should be the window finds the wall’s lowlands and slams shut. Portrait drawn by a philandering painter mixing up the names of his sleep. We can’t create any truth we can only spread it like gauze over all of the furniture.

The torchlight I’m torturing in my esophagus germinates up to an entire bedroom. When I open my mouth to scream, hilarity ensues, long-stemmed toilet plungers that have my mother’s backhand. Good day, God.

( C o n t . ) While the moon plugs into its overloaded electrical socket we should use a spray bottle then rape eachother with this shank. We’ll pay off our debts faster. It might even be illuminating, if we don’t make the river our blindfold. Shank me for feelings in negative hiding, shank me for the shank’s sake, so the feeling adults and grows our grays for us, persimmons our lips, potholes our cheeks a country road we go lost. Except on nights of poetry. Unless poems are crude blades, anything we learn will be donated to children on a television show. At the moment the babysitter parts her legs like hedge clippers in the garage for her guest, we’ll appear as broadcasting difficulties to the children who, feeling for the first time the quail’s heart without a stick, are left pointing at our screen.

( C o n t . ) Finalize a moment by grabbing it by the back of its neck, so it knows we are dead and serious. The moment shakes scared its witch rattle, and later when we’re eating club sandwich squares turns furious because, yeah we’re amateurs. Immediately the moment transmogrifies, slips under the door as a hotel invoice. We awaken from our Turkish naps like muzzled hounds take off running after the paper trail, loose lines and loosening every ally we are chased by. It’s no use. The guy next to us said so. And he’s lived in this neighborhood his whole life.

( C o n t . ) I hope you have better luck in that house than the last guy, seven roads, a horse track, slaves, and Louise the Unfortunate. When the whore’s baby buckled and took an average girl on a left-over tour, Sorry sent us a Shangri-la. Take the shank out to the country at night and bury it under a willow? I just don’t have it in me.

( C o n t . ) Where we can’t turn back let’s turn around and look at our Wall-of-Inescape. Just some particle boards baked with red yarn. But we are terrified of yarn, and the deal with it being red? Makes us think there will be repercussions.

( C o n t . ) As soon as day is our bank robbery going wrong think seriously about packing oval bags with gales and pulling a geographic. I’ll wave down whatever passes us by. You can sit atop the suitcase like a tree trunk you’ve ordered around since a boy’s running opponent. When blame crawls out from some rational ditch a giant gorged leech, lightning strikes, and for a millisecond we see the skeleton burrowed in the skin of all our begging.

( C o n t . ) It’s not so much anger as it is violence. The distinction cares, because Time is not my template. I could make you make me want to make me organize my body for the impalement arts, as someone who can cut metal the fineness of bonnet thread I have an appearance today, with the Kingdom of Feedback. A target girl in a knife throwing act the wound a passion for us to find. The poem. My largest organ facing infestations, skin the out wants in, and in is in a company of deadbolts. Rabbit skin glue don’t take me in my sleep rob me my wheel’s finality to animate the life that flashes before my eyes plateau. The photomontage I am to us on our double ladder of death is a genuine act we perform memory in war with you, I war you, I will war you for—

( C o n t . ) At the execution stake securely pull the chords. Loudly sound the lungs relunctancy.

( C o n t . ) The I Ching unsettles our pennies to tails because jerks don’t get to have futures we get angry and throw things. I throw the carving block into the ice sculpture’s bad haircut, you throw a trucker’s steering wheel into a drunk’s liquor cabinet, I throw the Olympic torch into a fruit stand, you throw lightning at the lightning rod’s poor manners, I throw the EXIT sign into the chandelier’s trapped music then you throw the EXIT sign over your shoulders, I throw hell’s portrait into the telephone booth, you throw the helicopter engine through the skylight’s asking for it, I throw the typewriter inside the oak barrel you are throwing up backwards the secret codes from bank machines and I watch migrations of thieves like rewinding a documentary of an erupting volcano.

As the play ends its first act, ink shatters a solid death, chips two buck teeth and the smile goes dark. We don’t hear applause until our getaway car stalls under a lazy cuplight’s uplifted arms in an even loopier lunacy.

( C o n t . ) If spilled toothpicks in my teeth are any indication we’ve outlived our chances and any chance at all will outlive us. I’ve never really mourned anything but I will never get over it, any of it, ever, why? Futility exercises for the circus, walking elephants on the railroad tracks, a collision between mammals and steel and having done everything to be there for it.

( C o n t. ) Tactics written by a running hand the one-footedness of hop-scotch, like, where are all the good people who make trouble? That’s all I want to synthesize about since a rump-roasting cynic in a mocking crib. Can’t deviate when the conversation manacles, makes me carry one half their boring ellipses. That’s why the farm will be good for working through other people’s anger, so we’ll never go bankrupt of our own. What’s taken me credibility to horde, a gold-smudged crown, knees bend, finally I can see! to the sadness, is a background.

A P O C A L Y P S E     F A R M

( C o n t . ) It’s not that I regret anything but I do lack understanding. During the breast milk heat, a sand flea above your brow is the tiniest dishonor whining loudly in my ear. Your hair straight on the shoulders of those in the mirror behind you, whereas my shoulder is a perch for rumpled feathers. What we did know about our family was inherent fear bears a heavy old iron propping open the exact door. Assassins prying back the screen.

( C o n t . ) Pledge: the patriarch. Vows: the matriarch rebuilds a fly’s anatomy by ear.

( C o n t . ) When the patriarch died crumpling negotiations I just wrote, a stoic dock floated in the lake’s middle, towards which all children began swimming. When I offer my chief cities to you I’m offering outlaws with stolen horses, jews in my family who didn’t know they were escaping persecution. One set is a fickle belonging of another, data related to another set of data that despises it. Dinner rituals, passing dark meat clockwise, unmapped means for mapped ends. Vows, the icy sandstorm on our trade route.

DEFENESTRATIONS: The Division of Labor (IV)

I  L o v e d  T h a t  P a r t  A b o u t  T h e r e  B e i n g  B l o o d. One silver ring next to three bored ribbons on the bedside table’s flat promise. Turn off the lamp, resign to never reach for it again, we can hold our belongings with sleep! I mean, can I just put some blood in a bowl by my bed and then sleep soundly? The screws won’t scrape but barely. Try nails—use the back of a gun. Pound, the idea is into our giving it place. I’d call you over when I’m done but they’re announcing the lottery winners. My numbers are somewhere. I’ll look inside the barrel, if you could just turn the other way for a sec.

( C o n t . ) Rationalize the disturbance as having come from the ceiling’s forgery, bringing in bats released on the attic’s hollow stage. Recital this for our long talk afterwards, where I ask how come, why a triple-thought beating? Behind billowing smoke. We all have a somebody, but we can’t all find our no body. Which in this case is what you and I

( C o n t . ) Behind the felt-tip marker is your tongue, spiraling out of control for emphasis, I want to collaborate with you. These ideas you bleed from are insufferable. And I’m interested, if you can’t hear me, it’s because I’m speaking into a microphone plugged in in Cincinnati where neither of us have been an audience member. I’m bent over a sectional, cushions so soft I need help getting out. When your hand, reaching from inside the tollbooth, expects urgency getting through. Pull out a dollar is what I meant, but instead a letter sliced your vertebrae calling form inside a flimsy envelope.

( C o n t . ) Remember the car ride? Where that hand reached behind the driver’s seat and batted at us to stop? We were brother/brother fox/fox mask, side-winding in genetic tracking for future freak-outs, meal worms panicky growing old, until we ripped their putty from intestinal safe captivity. A cop was pulling us over. We looked for a museum to hide, and found a museum. Dedicated to fallen tyrants. The seventieth thru ninetieth floors were okay, but the basement was a coatroom for cadavers, cannibalism, and insane babies of the fifth dimension. We followed with casual conversations about the fourth.

( C o n t . ) Sitting outside our archetype for door-to-door salesmen, I ran into one, a door, and got popcorn fucked, severely. You picked the flies from my mouth’s apple slice, and I likened you dearly to dead father who saw my birth force itself by a small sum of zeros. I was bundled a tumbleweed off the highway pastures en route disgrace, though lucky the wind shifted. Shifts again. Slows to a place where it cannot end, and error-prones. The wound of a kite.

DEFENESTRATIONS: The Division of Labor (III)

I t ’s   T h e  S i l e n c e,
C o l o r i n g  I n  O u r  F r a c t i o n s  N o w. That the day did with you what she never intends to do to any of us. Had I been there, rough crimsons. Is it enough my body may block your demented view? Even if a demented screen only offers this much? And offers, because you do not know how to take.

( C o n t . ) My ivory’s musk lights lanterns, flickers Morse code, miscues so the ship twice sinks. We ascend—or something like—to the highest deviation. Wait out the falsehood under us, we said it all too late. Since the beginning, words missing their hero led in hoods across many moats, bodies slumped and curved. My body curves when it lets go of you. Lets you go. Ago, I turn into the beginning. Letter of my last name, become the nothing it stood for in the first place. When you strait found me. Dirt, unlike water, can be restored after it is displaced.

( C o n t . ) The harp a palmtree. The liberty bell a swollen fire pit. You’ve caught the light against history.

( C o n t . ) History exits.

DEFENESTRATIONS: The Division of Labor (II)

T h e  G e c k o  R e f u s e s  T o
T u r n  T h i s  S h a d e  o f  R e t r o g r a d e, fans her grievances blocking the cold sun’s seriality, you should know. I should tell you, I will, I can. I’ve seen how. Fast-forwarded the cutter ants refuse to stop and explain. The Empire trusts. Gathering one another’s grievances and attaching its thistle to our backs. Where we return, hold out for confusion’s temple, a metallic mutiny I saw briefly. In the sky. Was a clasp for—clasping of—equally invisible bookends.

( C o n t . ) Identical twins. Corollary ages unrecognizable. One who smoked, the other who threaded the past into a tear-shaped hook and sutured the fabric’s widening entrance. An unbelievable story mask, the eyes poking holes, mouth kissing back to before it was kissed. Eckelard, Barnhart, Clements. Last names only ever sound like last names, language remodeling. As if. Thrust from embryonic scrolls. To be called upon differently in orbiting sorcery, but let down by the one before, and next, in line. So the name doesn’t sound. Any different underwater, just a feeling. One decides to float. Before fins retreat into breath.

( C o n t . ) If the chair gets up before I do, I will know. The ground takes no prisoners. Not even war’s prisoners who find their last gasp in longevity’s foreign notebooks. Miniature comet tails keeping track. To mark all obsidian for what count? It’s a strange embrace to occur for.

( C o n t . ) I think I’m sick, but can the sickness mean through the next phase? I think I’m a steroid, a pattern in civil war, you wear the pattern valiantly. Though it’s softening since you must exist beside a window light has not visited. The cellar it resounds in. A delicate textile woven in an open web, blood diamonds warped in white. Crepe georgette, hopsack, bird’s eye, marled, piqued, rib-stopped,

( C o n t . ) viscosed, toiled, seer-sucked, shot-effected. Sleep steam irons my bare lexicon and I am inconsolable during your temporary, dark recline.

( C o n t . ) It’s not as if the distance will coil, when struck by a technologically-advanced mallet if the nail is from a railroad’s ghost comfort, through young mountains, your absent cadence writhes and bellies. Lateral locomotion, in directions to move forward. Distance, all directions sooty north.

DEFENESTRATIONS: The Division of Labor (I)

W h e n   O u r  D i s t a n c e  F a l l s  S h o r t e r  T h a n  T h e  H e m. In my jaundiced dress, we will invite the parasites. To believe in our hope, too. What breaks a fever. Finds repetition. Twins a diviner’s stick and pulls the longer flaw forward to a hidden source. Incubates two lives. Lives repetition, without rhythm, half-heartedly, superstitious. Trees on the back of a super-organism. Honey mushroom single spore. Bodies fruiting—shiro—killing the forest about it. Several times over.

Hero of a thousand slaughters sunken sleeps from what is reclaimed. In weakness. Delivery beds, mast and flag too small to see. But extensive, the salted sea opens. My letter to you unfolding gathers courage. To sink. From its most middle point, dragging in the edges.

( C o n t . ) Aging into the curtain’s branches, a caterpillar falls into a bucket. Of stolen milk. Is not finalizing, but a remark, the morning wants. You in an attic of charcoal drawings, my wanting. Mourns you at the staircase to its attic, where humidity is a high- plains well we stagnate towards. Wanted me dead, some mosquito.

( C o n t . ) Active transport up the gradient, thin copper and conical. Insisting we waste into shapes. Shaving brevity like potassium skins from the farthest. Fruit, exposing what the hung hangs to—beneath skin more skin, beneath more the no-longer—There. On an eye-length cord no one will pull. To betray us, they don’t have to. They return to their civilization minutes before. The tablet drops. Wishing to perform all the day’s intricacies in preparation to be seen, even for a moment, by the head desk. From which all documents swarm. Undulate. The air holds. Buoyancy we evolved-refused. Cleave your ears to its snapping shrimp.

( C o n t . ) There is what is called. The deep scattering layer in the depth sounder, not creating the noise but themselves. Schools of fish reflecting sound wear taffeta, move rapidly like glances. Decide by motioning, remorse is saved! For tomorrow’s later date. Morsels from deeply divided cake brick. Our scattering them into orders will suffice. As walls. Though ‘wall’ is just a feeling, only ever upwards. And out of our reaching over.