zach blackwood

The Black Pig


in a real affair, i turn lady liberty foam color,
politicked like a tiny patch of hair

 even hands decay, our roughest skin
(and even its acid-etched biome outfit)

turning in on itself, kebabed on bone
in the cresting white paw of potential

i am made of gazes, ‘ttentioned into body heat
i go gauzy like lace fat, as stretched as pizza cheese

across every man whose ever deserved
been a whole-body halo to guilty (1980)

i want it  to be us on the vinyl jacket, so tan!
super into alt ig filters like truly creaming

on the materiality of my features this scope
manipulation, nothing from nothing unkissed

unsalted unfatted meat, char-stuck to dry heat
on all fours today in my bathroom i meditated full of water

say another thing about a fleeting touch
i fuck like insects fuck: too busy

to even touch meaningfully
the ground with our short, short lives

the lottery of embolisms growing like dusk
sun mildewing: jacket-empty bag weightless

unburdened that way: sleeveless full grown
weeping: true wireless discreet by design

discrete like roped off bounced and burned
disc like hard and shiny media. dusk like the veil
thinning. really hold that image
an object changing from unseen
external of all stimuli
nothing ever changes

except the iridescence of clear space
look what youve done to me my ankles are disappearing

into a bad smell thats really just time redistributing value
like stacking coins behind the wings of our ears

chain is talking about global crepes and local shakes,
a closed restaurant and the owner who comes into

the café it is now, in the flesh, in the husk,
and orders iced coffee no ice

in a hot mug primary sourcing
she doesnt bring her own ice

ive watched her drink it
i make up a diet where you can’t

consume anything unless it’s body temp
i want to disappear into everything else

if camouflage were in
our blood if we needed it

which routines of mine kink like vertebrae
in the public imagination in how many ways

am i disturbing just by getting
toothpaste on the faucet when i gag

i wrote a hundred poems about evaporations
the long chaotic website material my life

and all our lives discretely are

poetry microneedled into our golf ball swallows
tanning bed reality dating competition program.

thats between translatable

and i get the sense
do you think i’m your beam?

do you think light got less cool
once we started paying for it or

like have we always paid for it?
watched wood burn: we can do that

too to each other handle things wrong in the villa
some cheap acrylic gouge we carved in mallorca



a spool of thread sends me a cotton swab in the mail
and its attached to my whiteness, its spine pointed

too far wagging and gift-wrapped in skin

a body part that falls right off before i’m born,
it should have fallen off in the back of a car

undergraduate thighs sticking to the plastic seat
it should have burrowed into my spinal fluid

blowing bubbles up the length of me
i am full of bubbles, pissing straight-lather

i am full of clear-mind-flavored kombucha
i am full of cbd oil and clove oil and lemon oil

i am spending so much money trying to cut off
something vestigial. me and shane are watching anacondas fuck

in my kitchen, phone propped up against a bowl of salt
watching their little fuck-toes clutch one another

clutch one another or fall right off the sexy knot.
i’m explaining to katy how a dog’s tail is docked.

how sad i get to think of a guardian doing that
for aesthetics, for themselves, for them

an old to-do list is stuck to the inside of a jacket
i’m pulling on. a list of things i’ve done,

i cross each thing off and feel a satisfaction
quiver, almost inflate, and go still

wrote a new list: when i feel pain, i shouldn’t
first try to tear the poem off of it.

enough to be poetry or so enough it has to dig into my legs.
wrote a new list with a big blue chainsaw with a big boy

a fat wad a permanent marker a tight brown curl of mirror
just so i could cross it off for the rest of my life

i was in direct sunlight until i was nearly nineteen
unburdened by context for temperatures that could kill me

whole sections of my skin turned black in the sun
turned black and shiny and healthy in the sun


Taking the Waters


some massive cinematic four minutes
i’m in midlothian touching an ancient holy well
a whole day smokes like an ailment
a whole day isnt anything

write lexapro in all my handwritings
in every color pen until i feel less urgently still
im getting sick for the first time like i thought
id been sick and now i realize i was tired or faking it

every time i feel like a fabulist
my every poetried disappointment is ocean water
clear on the always fake burning of my dipshit eyes

in bright living sod of a country
id read an article about forest baths
im that emotional register only in airplanes
in it: a feeling that films on the corners

of your lips kind of viscous i was half-doing
my hypnosis podcast like i can be a better person
right here

literally laying down doing jack shit
it is exhausting to continue to be me
and fly thousands of miles and continue
to be me: flirting with gaulier grads

like a wind-up toy of me pedaling across my face 
im still laying there for my health: can a living person
with the cartoon name paula sweet truly hypnotize me?
i dont even remember what this is supposed to be

there is fully an advertisement in the middle of my trance
freshly untranced i fantasize on a different layer of myself:
i have sent the text message it was nice to see you before i left
embarrassed on my own reptile a disturbing hugeness in nature

i think the forest bath in the foaming long lichen of a country
will be my deeply personal sensation, ill be full lizard there
like only can see you if youre moving away or toward
my strike zone:  another sword going rancid in turf

not like you want something for it… feel bloodied
in how i didnt finish the poem about petting a mean dog
who wont let you stop i just wrote a poem around the outside
the conceit of it like a dog whistle like a behavioral instigant

a twitch in the air: a very very slight inclusion
the context collapses so slowly its pleasant even
a slab of ice: grand jeté into precipitous crockpot terror
just cackling doing donuts in the parking lot of my body

 i think i am so funny when i lie to a man and call it
my memories run together and the pen never leaves the page

theres a stain on the heel of my palm
my whole body becomes a streak
any landing feels violent
someone claps

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zach blackwood is a poet and performance curator in philadelphia, pa. he is the author of SEXY UNIQUE HOLLOW POINT forthcoming from glo worm press in 2019. he has poems published in peach mag, occulum, bedfellows magazine, ghost city press, maudlin house, and elsewhere. he lives with a rotisserie angel of a dog named pig and is available on the world wide web @blackwhom.