Adam Strauss

Elevated Sewing

Pearls rope and rope
Me; sable wraps
My throat;
I suspect I’ll choke.

I love a great choker;
That cinch at throat
Makes difference
Cuts off indifference.

These pearls are getting sticky;
I should move out of lamp’s heat;
This sable
Scorches like caramel splatters;
Fantasy hands me rubies to dress burns.

Dress these burns;
Dress their burns;
Dress our burns;
Dress everyone’s burns;
Dress her burns;
Dress its burns;
Dress his burns;
Dress those burns
And show dressing that
Pain not be elided, prettily
Replaced, prettiness of
World not become
Replacement for whole
Even as whole world is beautiful.

Plum-blossoms gracing table signals rarefied beauty.

She burned seventy
Blossoms, then photo
Graphed each one
Like orca dorsal or victim.

Blossom and victim
Don’t rhyme but blossoms smother
Stench of incarceration pens.

The warden does
Not have time nor nice enough
Desk to ponder dressing it in blossoms.

The warden does
Not have time
Only keeps it.

The warden has been
Fired; temporary replacement
Rules; floor goes smooth where
Edges used to reign.

Life is
Killing me loftily.

I am not imprisoned.

Burnt blossoms streak through my vocabulary.

The matters of this world are its couture; topographies
And fauna and flora are
The stars of each season. That already
Here is far.

Policy and couture
Are incommensurate
At level of fit.

The world is not an atelier, even as this one is.


I am innately

This condition may
Stem from being Gay.

Flaming and being Faggot makes sense:
As Phoenix updrafted
From fags flaming I look
Straights in their face and
Screw; but this
Barely matters one bit.

Straightness will reign;
Queer will be
Subsumed by Heterosexuality:
The room that’s so
Powerful nature’s totally totes usurped;
It’s every arrow:
Only dead
Beat would get out
Not go-go-go;
Elision continues its skip.

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Adam Strauss lives in Louisville, Kentucky.  He has poems out in Fence and Interim, and ones forthcoming in the Brooklyn Rail and Spork.  The poems in this issue are from a chapbook manuscript titled Against Heterosexual Hegemony.