Alexis Orgera

Getting To the Question


So that the empty table was empty yesterday
& tomorrow. The dead father
was dead before you mourned him.
The corrupt politician a ghost of a ghost
of a ghost. The dreams you have of cast-iron
infants, looped. Everything has already
been removed. Everything is the memory
of a splinter dislodged by the doctor’s
gloved hand. Everything has been. Everything
has already been. In the absence of limbs,
someone makes do. Everything has a way
of being something else. On a Portland night
an electric fire burns & all the creatures
breathe clarity. Clothes have already been
removed by the future-ghost of a future-shape.
Everything is something on a night like this.
You’ve seen it inside, the inside of the thing 
you can’t name. Everything made whole.
But everything has already been whole.
Tonight you went home instead
of protesting. Everything has already been
dissent, all clothes on the floor of a multiverse.
All the shed hair in the bathroom sink.
The cat shit in the litter box. The life being lived
elsewhere. Everything unplucked from the skin
of a fowl. The air fouled with wrung-neck
blood. Liar taste in the mouth of someone
you are kissing. Everything has already been
removed from the signpost of the holograph
of this country unfastened from
the continuum. Event horizon proves it,
even after the gurus have died away.
Inside the black hole, everything’s taken down
to nothing. Already gone, everything
has been. Has everything been
removed already? Asking the question, like
forty birds on a wire: Koo-koo-oo? Koo-koo-oo?

After the Nervous Breakdown


Found myself untamed—
drove cross-expanse,
& left the house of grief.

A hidden Lilith will not sit.
Cusp me & fix my parts
into discharged seed. I left the scene.  

Borne onto the wind’s hull.     
Hologram ethics & suprabeats,
sojourners in forbidden myth.  

The motion of fuselage
as opposed to the exacting
zeal it takes to inhabit a place.

A wanderer is once a failure, twice born
to time. To dwell in one solid tick
of the clock, perchance 

to time, timing is everything:
a dog pissing on a tree outside,
I’m licking my wilderness raw.

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Alexis Orgera is author of two books of poems, How Like Foreign Objects (2011) and Dust Jacket (2013). New and forthcoming poems can be found in the Bennington Review, Chattahoochee Review, New South, and Sundog Lit. She is the co-founder/publisher of Penny Candy Books, an indie picture book press, a freelance editor, and runs writing workshops in Savannah, GA.