Apartment Poetry Quarterly

14A              14B              14C              14D              14E              14F


14B Jace Brittain




A snail’s path say sure not a straight line Oh then say
you could grab it in the manner of a child chancing on
a string It dangles It can be roped between fingers It can
be tied in a knot or several. But if at its end there is no
snail then there can only be a scene of violence. 

Yes yes I’ve seen once a bird snatch one. 

Exactly you’ve hit on just the thing. 

With a stick I could make you a kind of sling shot from
the gooey path once grabbed with which I could make
quick work of the bird. 

Eyes closed repose saying rather let’s just wait a while
and maybe the birds will start dropping on their own.
They napped incidental and woke in a field of small
delicate weightless dry bones.






Heavens me the indignity along the way to returning to
the big damn nothing. O Astronomia, suck me up suck
me down, he thinks he just don’t wanna be the object
of a cleaning up again. Rather get fucked or. I’ll wait but.
Departure cannot come soon enough. Maybe if his
gears turn clicking and ticking and spinning his body at
the right speed in the right orbit then he can just slide
dumbly plumb into the great grinning dark. 


So Felix tucks all what he’s got into a tight fine motor
in his shell nothing ab—hanging a pennyheighth out.






And those remedies which tied and tethered him in time
and tithing teeth crunching the numbing capsules
shaking the alchemia crushed dose down how it danced
in the dust of he dumped the last of them. 


Crushed hawk talon half hoping virtus of Horus one
bird god against bacterium’s lull in great beak and great
claws to carry him away, he prays.






Although by nickname others compared the building to
a cake Felix knew it was in fact shaped like snails shell
or a sphincter knew as well as anyone the perfect
impossible shrinking corners this shape implied and was
trying to explain in the center yard in view of every
blank window that blared invasion that this open center
of the spiraling universe was the onlywhere anybody
had chance to collapse, destroy, or escape. To chuckles
from the crowd and a suspicious nothing from those
horrible windows. 


It was no cake it could shift anytime to any or no place
along a crystal line of correspondence so that although
it was oppressively the house of sickness today it might
be the movie house tomorrow, let you slip the mirror’s
ledge into the firehouse and voila slide away down a
gleaming line into another forgetful example of space.






When you’ve lost something and mother or father
ignorant of the depth of such a plight offer only last-
point-of-possession and steps-to-be-retraced and
lacking a sibling and senses departing and the floor
which starts sinking beneath your fetal form until so
caved it envelopes and nurtures and neither slithers
warmly into the folds of the brain intoning You never
needed it baby anyways 

He thinks that’s when you’re really born and so too
when the lying starts. Oh but what had he lost this