fell asleep again reading Paradise Lost
in a field of unmarked police cars
where I see my mother breaking a small horse in the distance
there are like these sharp little blips
something about water lilies
bled out in the water’s slow wizen
and my mother’s reflection
saying her name is pulchritude
what are you doing up here
what have you done with your grandmother’s soft vowels
she bends the pony’s head into a bright star
but this isn’t the right dream either
I Ctrl+Alt+Del, Ctrl+Alt+Del all over my own face
swaths of chartreuse, red dye #40
sucked from under my eyelids
spit back into a pool of basic commands
I’m holding some kind of animal’s clean spine now
a bag of loose mercury
instead of a map on a screen
I say Lord, what is all this stupid shit
I try to rebuild
the tree fort from when I was a kid
where there are no longer trees
where a water treatment plant
now spins its dull spell work
I write childhooddog.exe, firstcommunion.exe
I write in the space where it says
do not write in this space
everything I’ve wanted to say
for so long
passing over the hillside’s auto-correct
Trump enters my dream life.
His head is a large human head attached to a crab’s endocrine system
and carbuncular body.
It’s not a very tactical entry,
but there’s nothing much I can do to stop it.
It’s an image I’ve seen on the internet
after googling the Medieval Clown Tradition too many times.
It’s from a hack-and-slash video game version of Dante’s Inferno
from the early 2000s
where the severed head keeps mouthing I Don’t Know, I Don’t Know
as it skitters choppily toward your imagination.
The skittering is one of its most effective moves.
It’s an indiscriminate kind of poison, a weed killer
sprayed along the frontal lobe’s fatty privacy fence.
There are many other slippery nodes,
many slunk openings through which a receptive body can pass,
but Trump doesn’t like germs.
How The Glands of the Human Body – WebMD
begins with What is a gland?
Society was so clean.
Most of the undesirable bodies were excised or rerouted,
their bodily fluids extracted from the GDP,
their enzymes blow torched
out of the Declaration of Independence’s saline solution,
blood quantums alchemized into border crossing statistics.
That’s the kind of convenience trump goes for,
the sort of dead entry point he’s hoping to stretch over
the yawn of your inner life.
And I don’t think he liked his crab body very much,
how it felt, and fit the sphincter of his soul.
How he doesn’t like an unwieldy context, the sticky residue
that human contact portends.
The pee tape for instance. The thought of it sliding
into the cassette player’s mouth parts.
But this was my dream. The trickle of new life forms
down a long dark leg.
At the bottom, Trump begging for more.
Jim Redmond received his MFA from the University of Michigan. He is currently a Robert B. Toulouse Fellow at the University of North Texas, where he is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing. Some of his poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Pleiades, Redivider, PANK, and Diagram, among others. His chapbook, Shirts or Skins, won one of Heavy Feather Review's chapbook prizes.