Daniel Luévano Money & Time As Do Scars You Wear Free of the men’s room, I weave my way through Civilization, one widening out The parking lot & over the vast American fainting boondocks. Teeth-check, Zipper-check, hair re-tousled. My best to you & that weathered social drinker you’re with. How can I spend my day like you. Nameless Citizens making vines of two bodies. Then the dream of it—the kids were watching & your spouse showed up. If you strip your eyes Off my wife you might see about you more Childhoods inverted in well drinks, spongy By mood lamps. They barely see each other So risk their meaning. What’s that you can’t pray Your way out of. Where’s that you’re hot to go. You don’t expect to live like this ad Infinitum, giving thanks for tomorrow. I’ll let you get back to your table.
Money & Time As Do Scars You Wear Daniel Luévano
Cleveland Park By Day Daniel Luévano
Landfill Daniel Luévano
blinked/blank Mark DeCarteret
A Glimpse Samara Spence
My Mother Is Kneeling John McKernan
David Rode The Power Mower John McKernan
Hello My Voice Said John McKernan
Sunrise John McKernan
This New Word Josiah Spence
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Josiah Spence
Tall Grass Josiah Spence
Layout and Design by Josiah Spence. Photography by Matthew Payne. Edited by Matthew Payne, Josiah Spence, Suncerae Smith, & Michael Young. All content ÂŠ Rust+Moth 2012. ISSN# 1942-5848 rustandmoth.com
Money & Time As Do Scars You Wear Daniel Luévano Free of the men’s room, I weave my way through Civilization, one widening out The parking lot & over the vast American fainting boondocks. Teeth-check, Zipper-check, hair re-tousled. My best to you & that weathered social drinker you’re with. How can I spend my day like you. Nameless Citizens making vines of two bodies. Then the dream of it—the kids were watching & your spouse showed up. If you strip your eyes Off my wife you might see about you more Childhoods inverted in well drinks, spongy By mood lamps. They barely see each other So risk their meaning. What’s that you can’t pray Your way out of. Where’s that you’re hot to go. You don’t expect to live like this ad Infinitum, giving thanks for tomorrow. I’ll let you get back to your table.
Landfill Daniel Luévano If not in sleep, waxed in blood supply—& all What you thought meaningful & given: A pillowless ragamuffin in REMSleeping summer bog, bedclothes hiked & twisted Half-off. While beyond the privacy fence Slimy earth bulldozed to a voodoo pie Of semen bathmats, lengths of skin, mangled Live chicken crates. But by microwave light The ice-maker clunks, dishwasher jerks on. Tomorrow’s wake magnetized as the sea. Night to night you wax in blood supply. Churning mountains, mulch of scorched latex, Fungal mattresses, un-baptized organ slough. How to know heaven so rested on hell. You rise only a morning to increase A kingdom. How to know this much heaven Spurted through sea, hissed with salt, cooled to mass.
Cleveland Park By Day Daniel Luévano Grownups, who were you, spit from flamingoStoned dawns. The mercury of windblown cheeks Your tongue raised a child’s imprimatur Shouted from sun-sobered teeter-totters Toward the letting go of little gods Who eat their weight in time & claw through sand Freshly raked of the used rubbers & butts & currencies of gone peoples sucked down The retroactive night. Who eat their weight In sand & claw through time. Take a lesson From kids left to monkey bars & saddled Dinosaurs & squeal your pudding head off —
blinked/blank Mark DeCarteret when my eye lids sang of all I’d seen shadow-wise that other life carved out of darkness I wasn’t able to listen when my eye lids said all that the corporate heads insisted their fiery brands on my temple I lost my own scent when my eye lids sagged into cold & colder artifact thoughts entrenched in my skull I could no longer feel when my eyelids sank & my body cramped into a cipher a reminder of what it once played at I became even dumber when my eyelids saw nothing of what they once were only light & light’s offspring I knew all along night had dreamt me
A Glimpse Samara Spence I caught a glimpse and it was restless relaxing wasn’t relaxing stillness was not possible I caught a glimpse and it was lonely human contact wasn’t connection crowds were just a distraction I caught a glimpse and it was boring curiosity abandoned me all things interesting waned I caught a glimpse and it was empty life became pointless goals signified nothing I caught a glimpse and I was a prisoner freedom wasn’t freedom the world at my feet but I wanted a hole I caught a glimpse and it wasn’t me I couldn’t find her the me I know was lost I caught a glimpse of a life without you I long for naive faith When hell is not a myth, the fear is real
My Mother Is Kneeling John McKernan Midnight beside the Christmas tree Slowly unplugging the last string Of lights as I lug my way to sleep Drugged by cocoa & marshmallows Up since 6 o’clock papers & ice She begins singing in German In a voice I have never heard “O Tannenbaum” rising to aria In blue light & silver ornaments That moment was the first time I died Slowly floating outside my body Into a thread of cool yellow light I don’t know where heaven is Any longer but I know it will have The smell of blue pine & the lilt in her voice
David Rode The Power Mower John McKernan That summer Weaving over these graves Dreaming of sock hop records in high school Cary claimed sex with six girls on one grave Into a single moonless night in May On a blue blanket Till now That is my record Stephen [Who avoided girls Their voices & bodies] Would sit for hours drinking one beer Then stagger up & down trying to damage As many grave stones for his notebook “Record” None had a sliver of respect for the dead Until our parents vanished into hospital beds Until our brothers & sisters melted in car wrecks Until we woke curled & shaking in wet grass Dawn’s light crawling into our blind-drunk eyes
Hello My Voice Said John McKernan Up there in my skull In a pile of drunken bottles What can you tell me About these grapes & the pitch of a harvest knife? To which the vine replied You mean the green plant That makes red & green things That make you forget? Yes I replied A grape I need to learn How to eat dirt In such a way & swallow sunlight
Sunrise John McKernan Dry white maggots Thin dry maggots The cleft rock new splashed with powdered limestone Teeth parts on the marble path up the hill Two doves at winged sex on goose-daubed straw A clutch of salt-colored eggs in their nest Feathers floating everywhere their see-through
rainbow quilt colors
White maggots sliding into dew particles Corpses resting underground Quiet as a painting Doors sealed with bleached jawbone Thick white sandals Thin white sandal straps The strings of a harp in sunlight Each note leaping up the seven marble stairs Tinkle flash of leper bell A huge white shadow wrapped around his or her body The hair of goats The beards of old men Mist of white pollen in dust of powdered sand The braids of the albino Her pink eyes Goatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s milk in a wood bucket The ladle
floating in bubbles of sunlit foam
A woman said the tomb was empty &
the cloth used to tie the broken jaw shut
was found on the floor Folded neatly
This New Word Josiah Spence There was this new word,
It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t anything like
It meant that my mother
A friend of his had
had sent my father
told him that he could
stay in a trailer house
I figured that he
out on some land
wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a part of the
family anymore, so we
The land had rolling
wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see him
tall trees and I think a pond too.
But he came
to take us,
it was all
for a time,
brown and dry,
to the place
where he was living
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Josiah Spence Even then
First came the comedies.
I had a difficult time
Mary Tyler Moore and
Dick Van Dyke and
I Love Lucy. I liked those
So I would wait
shows okay, I guess.
in my room until my family
But I was really
was asleep. And I
for the dramas.
as quiet as I could, into the living
Dragnet was great.
Criminals of every sort unfailingly brought
by the straight-faced
with the volume
The finalĂŠ of every
was Alfred Hitchcock Presents,
as I could
a show that filled
me with horror
manage to hear.
every time. Afterward, I would turn off the television and sit in the darkness.
And every time,
I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hear it
for some reason,
and my heart would
I would begin to grow
freeze in my chest, so
more and more
I would lean in
and place a finger beneath her nose
that my mother
to make sure
had died in her sleep
that she was
was watching television. So I would creep, as quiet as I could, into her bedroom, and I would listen as hard as I could for her breathing. Usually,
Tall Grass Josiah Spence Without my dad around, the grass grew up around the house. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that it was ever green. It was brown and dry, but it just grew and grew. Maybe you wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t call it grass. Every stem was split at the end and covered in tiny, grainy little seeds. And it was all brown, so maybe you would call it weeds. And it grew and grew all around our house, until it was as high as I was tall. My mother said that the neighbors were angry about it.
In the tall grass, that you might call weeds, there were bugs that would cling to your skin, and there were little animals of some kind, but I don’t think that is why the neighbors were angry with us. They just didn’t like the way it looked, my mother said. But we didn’t have a red, growling lawnmower anymore. My father had taken the one we had when my mother sent him away. So my sister and I went out into the yard with scissors, and spent weeks cutting what we could.