Liam Cregan is an undergraduate English Major at UMass Amherst. He has been writing poetry for a few years now, and is concerned with meaning constructed by illogical mental realms. He moonlights as a musician in the band shakusky.
Burlesque on Crutches
A bricklayer is different than a layer of bricks. Lack of formal training renders me useless. A tradesman in slaves travels by horse-drawn carriage, anti-southern-belle.
Death unto you, ear of god, drawn by Gary Larson. A mason may find her dead
in the cellar. As an apprentice, I’ll do no good in the beginning, but will soon out-skill
my aging master.
And murder him in his sleep after drinking seventeen cups of coffee. Starbuck was a character in a famous American novel but now he owns an enormously successful
Captain, we’re sinking. Lay me down like bricks on the floor of the sea. An octopus keeps a garden down there. I call it Atlantis. Moby Dick takes shits down there. Like huts
of mud I melt in rain.
This blank place stank of blankets. Bats of cave in sleeping mode
entrenched in feces. Wish I had a dog.
In bed with shades drawn, thinking of moving to the drawing room
for sunlight and coffee.
How does one draw a crowd. With the binding contract in hand,
the public servant undid the shackles.
Hard stacks of books lined the intersecting walls. Who built words,
sculptors or slaves?
Rented a Tent
The tent’s dark and smelly, like Abercrombie. It’s a question of self-doubt,
practically unanswered. Died like Diane didn’t. The cliff covered in glacier scars –
it hurts. Before insulation, I was seeing drawstrings pulled and whistles blown.
The dirty fingers left prints on the page, smudging an ink that hadn’t
quite dried. Boots drum dirt. Thermal journals, winded by steep faces, tightening
my left quadricep. Neither laughing nor loosening, voices hone vocabulary.
The curve in the blade of grass reminded of the perfect ocean wave.
Blue paper and water vapor. The tarp acts as a sail, anchored to rocks, which,
in the right conditions, will be lifted by wind and swung in a curve to crush my skull.
Decided in a dream, the stream crossed the trail, patterning. Almost time
to get out of the bag. A big cat, nocturnal, catatonic and rarely seen. The flames
from the campfire, reaching well above my scalp, tickled my cheekbones.
The look of static when muted. It weren’t for nothing we went to the wedding.
It was happy, sweating. The classic chorus (of babies bawling) has run its course.
Don’t paint me in the morning, the light isn’t right. All the assholes are taking naps.
A brain isn’t liquid until it is blended. Take splenda in your coffee? splendid.
It’s from mouth, caverned in spit. Steaming in the room, a plate of pizza.
Aristotle said it, or was it Plato. Every october I write a poem about driving.
Escapades into earlier, which is memory, the temporal sadness. Dead grass regenerates. The factions of fog obscured the wind. I picked the dark hairs from
my arm, thinking of splinters, using my thumb and index finger as tweezers.
Not feeling like being where I’m not. The glare through glasses. I felt weak, naked by a river, smoother than stones. Sitting on a log staring at the crease in my abdomen, swatting mosquitoes. At the right angle, the blue ink glistened in the sun.
Lightning will have started a forest fire by the time I remember the word
I forget. White caps spit intermittent. I miss the smell of salt water sincerely, until
I smell it again. Careful speech is boring. After sneezing, keep writing.
You are carrying pockets inside your pants, in which you carry your keys.
They make sounds when you walk but this will not disturb you.
And anyone won’t just discover anything. There is a kind of specificity to it.
Which jingles when you walk as you wait for the second coming of christ.
This is why we don’t talk about continuity. It isn’t logical and it isn’t productive.
The forest will still grow and you will continue to walk closer to death.
If Christopher Columbus wrote aphorisms, I’d buy the book, and you’d check it
out from the library. We’d compare notes then have sex by a bookshelf.
You are carrying skin, in which you carry your other organs. They make
very tiny sounds when you walk but even this will not disturb you.
And my name doesn’t really matter. There isn’t much, if any, specificity to it.
You’ll develop wrinkles and feel your life lose purpose.
This when we maybe quit talking. Eye contact is no longer comfortable.
I think I need a new pair of thick-frame glasses.
Quandary in a Junkyard
Listen, I don’t want to preach or anything but the principles of Freudian ethics
are glaring down my gullet with a flashlight.
Like a spelunker in a wet place with the black walls reflecting. A red man
showed me the way through these valleys of darkened madness.
He saved my souls, in a time of multiple personalities and hive minds.
A horned man in a cave by the sea.
Blessed by Nothing
Neat receipts crumple in pockets, and wash into what will become a dingleberry. Harvest crust from my asshole, in it plant a tree, sniff the flowers that bloom in spring.
Have you ever rotted in 24 hour snack-mart after purchasing a bottle of carbonated, bitter rage? I’m talking about alcohol, bottled violence, a minor threat. Don’t be concerned.
And forgetting about the make-up, we imagined legends of voluntary ice-dragons
and watched ads for fantastic lego sets. This isn’t a joke, do you imagine I’m standing?
As you can see, sperm banks don’t approve of my lifestyle. They won’t even let me open a savings account, not even for a service fee. Credit card companies love me.
Weeks are Charades
Free blanco, slate of the slave state, forevermore succumb to his wishes. Heaven
is for roofers not plumbers. Look at the size of that star. Bigger than your needle. Wish
don’t listen to fortune. Fallen dust rests on shelf-lifed goods canned.
Scree, moss grow, the massive neck of the giraffe. Pointed to details. Mapping
is for walkers not sailors. Look at the depth of that ocean. It’s deeper than you said. Hey,
the kitty’s on your chest again. Smallish rust decks navy-manned.
Sweat pours on, white of the wing-right, nevermore return to his britches. Leaving
is for wives not husbands. Look at the shade of that welt. Bluer than your eye. I miss
representation in America. Make a push for the enlightenment.
What is a Pig
It is none of your business what tax-deductible charities, I’ve been mailing
checks. The degree of hate relative to the nexus of self control. Why am I always
the first thing moving in the morning.
Leeches suck on sand, you said, and you were wrong. Beaches, the hidden
rhyme, and thin breezes. Laundry hollows homes. The word in the mind
becomes another on the page.
Volcanoes are like humans who smoke. The eye was a moon until it closed,
then new moon, which is just dark night. Another poet already told you. Perhaps it’s
a balloon we’re trapped in. The sun barters with plants.
The sleep words I wished to remember, moving sleepwards by the creek.
Bird call. Who will read this is all of my business. I’m cynical and willing to kill
thousands of fleas.
Taste For Film
I sat behind the times of no one sitting, beyond the welts and healing.
There isn’t any questions really be made this time. Compelled into questioning.
Faculty at universities, bathing in foam. Shaving in front of the mirror.
He went to the movies too. The movie was called something something some.
I rowed between the island and the shore, through the size and shape.
Sacrilege is good most of the time. That bush could definitely burn.
Start new and silenced. There isn’t a structure to worry about. This place
hasn’t been mapped. Let’s consider exploring the geography.
Of course there is a hesitance involved in the process of writing. Most times
I just watch TV. Narrative structure helps contort my body into comfort.
The humidity caused the poster to droop on the wall. Wrinkles in the clarity
of conversation. I’m always forgetting to do the laundry.
And leave the house without saying goodbye. Can I get away from the narrative of everyday life by writing a fantasy novel. Thoughts of linebreaks.
Still hesitating. This isn’t a final draft of course, only a break in the action to consider the receding, and it proceeds.
Obviously things intersect. One thing helped another happen, it’s nature.
Al Gore told you already.
Run down by the fun police. This isn’t what I thought listening to records
would feel like. Now isn’t worse than any other time to break bad news. The death
of a friend by the phone in the morning.
This is a bad poem for being sad, being alive with the glory of love. The table is polished, covered in shreds of tobacco. Cores of apples center the visions. What is
a pig. Another poet already told you.
Fuck off with your repetition. OK, I’m sorry. Another poet already told you. Why
is this happening to me. I’m always the first thing up in the morning. It’s terrifying.
Silence isn’t happiness.