Seagram’s Gin, $22.99

Poetry
 
I don’t drink gin
anymore.
I once drank gin
and nearly drowned
in the hedges, not again
my guts, in the hedges, swimming
pools are floating bodies
living, digesting bodies, but in me
nothing stays down.
If I could
swim to the bottom and stay down
dig up these hedges’ roots and take their bed
or at least keep these aggressive flies
from nesting in my ears, no thanks
I haven’t touched the stuff in years.
 

 
2012
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Newsflash: Bees

Free writing, Poetry
They hide it well.
Poised, their apocalypse arrives on time as promised.
We all know the real story is far more sinister than collusion or Russian hackers (or hookers). Our collapse revolves around the bees.
And while I may scurry to a corner of my balcony upon their approach, I revere them.
Yesterday’s news brought wind of pesticides that trickle into bee colonies. It gets inside them and makes them forget to clear out their dead from the hive.
Is that laziness or reverence? Human beings, before we buried our dead, kept their bones in our living rooms.
Your father’s skull dry-rotting into a smile on the Terre Cotta mantle. Summer brings a smell about him. Insects praise his complex structures with moving mandibles.
We had reached a point of sentimental animation. The machine doesn’t move anymore but the component parts still recall uncanny movement. Something’s gone, but something remains alive and working.
It’s hard to underline the moment the light goes out. That’s because, as you feared, it doesn’t. Not all at once. We imagined that the spirit ascends. Out of proximity, we had begun to learn it’s dispersed.

Chunk of Ice the Size of Delaware

Poetry
Experts now advise
I catapult my computer screen through the ice-
shelf of the endangered Larsen Sea, study all cracks
mostly underwater, at depths of 600 feet
I could signal collapse
steady droplets ascend into safer solids, my apocalypse
frozen, speechless at the poles as if
we put it there on purpose
and left it there to think over its destruction
ages ago, kept far at bay. Well,
in about two weeks,
we’re set to un-shelve it like we once would a dictionary
Thumbed open to “ACC–ACE,” too late
we locate and better identify
synonyms for acceleration.

May I please recuse myself?

Free writing, Poetry
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intel Committee revealed one thing. Well-rehearsed anger is less effective than genuine disgust.
 
With the proper training, Mr. Sessions would have been an effective extra in a cop movie. Some wide-eyed rendition of an officer bewildered by the scene.
 
One imagines a Russian spy thriller like a Tolstoy story, cold and overcast with a metallic sheen. Names are less important than looks.
 
I see our current predicament more like a movie by Fritz Lang. Blunt and nauseating at times, but always skipping along as if the world is big enough for everyone to speak.
 
Our narrative’s characters have started talking. The impending arc begins assuming real shape. When does our omniscient author intervene to tie things up? Unknowable still as of today.
 
The storm gathers to a point and swallows itself. The last page is missing, torn from the annals of history like a ruptured appendix. The quiet is numbing. The connections, maddening.
 
I had to shut it off. Despising shallow waters.
 
How obvious is all this? How predictable? Inevitable? This world should enjoy a shake-up of its senior writing staff. It’s the least we could hope for. Some grace note to tether us to someplace we can call home.
 
The United States of America is remiss by definition. What becomes of the derelict with self-denial encoded in its genetic fingerprint? I do not recall. I didn’t keep notes for most of these things.
 
As appropriate, I will disclose the documents. I’m not able to make an opinion of that without clear approval from the president.
 
Canyons may crumble without prior notice. Department of Justice will not be open on federal holidays, and why not? It’s not wrong. Even if it was wrong it still wouldn’t be.
 
The irritated General waves down a helicopter on the roof of the U.S. capital building. It’s his dear friend Sergey Kislyak, and he’s brought a thoughtful basket of warm biscuits!
 
Underneath these biscuits lies the key to this whole puzzle. It is warm and sterile, solving all our inquiries like an unnamed bank teller in the last scene. He smiles as the culprits withdraw their allowance before closing the bulletproof slider.
 
All comes together without a single speck of dust. We’re in on it. Not everyone is. This brings us into the fold in a way that the subject will never understand. Why should he? He’s lucky the series is still on the air. The coming film promises the end of his career.

March Forward

Poetry

18-Year-Old Model

Remains Found Under Bridge Possibly

Makes Remark

About How Women Get Attention

Abortion Rights, Feminism and Hillary

Clarifies Comment

 

That ‘Islam Hates Us’ at

Criticism of Her Appearance in

Massachusetts

 

3-Inch Hot Dogs

Caused by ‘Blunt Force Trauma’

Using iPhones

The Theoretical Physicist

Asks Spiritual Leader His Opinion

Shrinks or Eliminates Tumors Before

 

Discontinues Support

Following Patent Dispute for Gene-Editing

Framework That Reportedly Loads

Traffic and Retires

Early Due to Knee Surgery

 

Honor Teen Equestrian Rider Who Died

He Is Attempting to Play in NFL

 

Wrestler’s Trial With Gawker Over Sex

Linked to Cold Case, Police Say

Baseball is ‘a Tired Sport’

 

Amelia Cairns    3/11/16

PACIFIC, 1944

Poetry

 

It’s me, sitting there upon the alter
The cathedral at Palo, running faucet water
Flooding the grout, infantry waves thrash
Ceaselessly at every corner, I will find
The enemy does not hide in abandoned churches
Only the Flip kids lay still at the rails
On their backs their arms outstretched, holding
The wrought iron ornaments as they were
Bicycle handlebars absorbing white heat,
Flushing blood to my palms on the ride
Back to camp. See now, the temples of sheets
I shutter-trapped in fields of mud, deep enough
To sink you to the spot, is this
New Guinea is this
Australia, now Manila, the capital
We think, this is
Gate-closing panic

 

Pacified only
By the little things
Institutional errors
Refuse bins urging ungrounded
Soldiers, THRASH ONLY and leave
What you will refuse
Upon high barred cathedral windowsills

 

 

Amelia Cairns (Spring 2013)

(It’s Not Brain Surgery, It’s) The Gamma Knife

Poetry
There are several options but
 I find fragments of him in my desk drawers
You’ll want to take the 1 uptown
Down to the dead skin dust on his glasses
Leaving every six minutes.
Fight the body to save the mind?
“Now With Service Overnight!”
Fresh tissue flanked by rotting clumps
You take the 4 to Woodlawn
They drilled holes in his head to make the growing stop.
Assume the curve of the tunnel wall.
He watched yet could not feel them blast apart
On and off the tracks, we vibrate within our bounds.
Are there casualties? From summers in the Catskills
Peripheral blues and ambers spark
To the tune his father hummed.
Exit by the intersection.
The brain sees this in black and white.
Walk east, hit York, hang a left.
Fill color and shape from memory.
Amelia Cairns (Spring 2013)