Alex Lemon





Car doors, bricks, a drill press,

I’ve broken my hands thousands of times


because I’m afraid of what they can do.

Seizures of black and white photos,


sixteen millimeter film. Flash,

flash and framed in spider-leg light.


Smile falsely and the piano hammers

unbearably loud. Is it a stream of blood


or a forgotten plant’s winged roots?

When I die broken-hearted, bandages


will muffle the paradise I choke

from your electric fence, but know


that I knocked, open-mouthed

in pearly rain. Your Christmas cactus will bloom


fluorescent, terrible beauties will appear

on the orphaned child’s tongue.




Last Night, I Died In My Sleep


Morning was blessed with forgetting,

a compromise of horns & blue clingings.


Your riot of happiness leaves me

lonely, kicking garbage cans


in an fire-lit alley. Remember the times

dried blood from a bit thigh could save?


The dogs are moaning one hit wonders.

You must be stuck upside down on a rollercoaster


or imagine yourself, eyes closed, mouth to mouth.

You must salivate thinking about what could be.


A cold pillow & solar-power.

Soon, you’ll have no need for me.



From Hallelujah Blackout


Shivering, we rock the reverie, sickly in bonfire-light

Barking disbelief. Hope’s hoarfrost wind, the spine-leafed trouble

Faces are hammered into belief

O my venomous twin, the operator lisps, I’m going down undressed

Is it not my whore-sweet sun? Is it still a sin at this hour?

Another blink, another belief

The outline is chalked in fall’s slack light

The crocodile’s goodbye-eye rides low

Within and within and without

In the swamp, velvet. A mob of herons crow in belief

Of figure. Of begotten thought. This is underhanded and potent

This is a satiny absolute. Beneath a ruin of plate-glass

All that remains of the grasshopper is a stain of belief


The model bares himself; or better yet, breaks into a garden of ripened shapes

Consciousness touches its lips in sorrow

An object passes from maw into belief


The sky opens in a violent holiday: the gift was meant to be jasmine

The self fucks furiously and the tractor shudders

And, furthermore and perfect again—scarecrows are mugged for belief


Drowning won’t do it in the shallows. It won’t bring rain

Cleanliness, or an I’ll-look-up-to-you self

Forgotten under the moon’s lapel, the glowworm achieves disbelief