Jim Redmond

Deep Images

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

a palimpsest

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


nothing happens

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


Home Remedy

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.

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