Apartment Poetry Quarterly

16A              16B              16C              16D              16E              16F


16b Michael Martin Shea




Tungsten fucks with the health of the republic. A movie theater manager is unthreatened by the mob. I draw myself up and down the stairs like bathwater. I arrange the cutlery according to its rank. The noble fork reflects the psychosexual anxieties of its user. Each faucet echoes the eternal faucet. Lettuce rests on the heads of the dead. If I were to stand on the street corner and rend my garments in an expression of abject intolerance at time’s passing, would my neighbors rear up on their hind legs, honking and clapping like a bob of seals? The fortunes of the berry farmers were stolen from the public. An airplane glides on good vibes. I swallow each webpage like a sedative. I remove my credit card number with a file. The inveterate displays of public affection left us feeling hollow and hungry for ice cream, which we sought in every cul-de-sac. A pile of leaves transforms into a metaphor for the lost idealism of my twenties. I have lost each game of cribbage at my cottage. I have maintained a mattress pad, a succulent, and a gnome.






I am no longer able to sleep without a portable white noise machine. I’m not afraid of money, God, or clowns. The fatuous tribunals captured the nation’s attention. The client ponders the new bad news. Each morning I drag my horse through the marble arch in order to appease the board of directors. The seedpods beckon from the edge of the balcony. A new footprint emerges in the crime scene. History roars like a weedwhacker. Remember mushrooms? Tiny babies? The invigorating sense of a brighter future palpitating just next door? Each morning I survey dereliction from the auspices of my front stoop, and then I climb into the bathtub and begin to yelp. The logic of narrative exceeds the intransigence of geometry. Hope inflates like a carcass. Finance sputters like a speaker doused in wine.






In my dream I tally the days I’ve wasted arguing with some moron on the internet. Shock troops pitter into the city. Girlfriends emerge from the skies like ravens. Boyfriends cover the earth like boils. A stately fortune is recovered in the holler from which it was first extracted. Value blanches in the warming pond. A mother and a father can define the limits of one’s early notions of morality, but they can’t say shit about the news today. Concupiscence constructs the sonic register. Terrorists drift like floaters in front of the nation’s vision. A deck is finished without fanfare or austerity measures. Here is a partial list of things I have said online to someone I disagree with: You should have your driver’s license revoked. You should be kept inside of a dog’s cage. Your brain is like a wet oven. Your brain is like a pile of damp leaves. Someone should study your brain for science. Someone should feed you through a tube.