WILLIAM JAMES


William James writes poems and listens to punk rock — not always in that order.
He is an editor at Drunk In A Midnight Choir whose poems have appeared or are
forthcoming in Atticus Review, Emerson Review, The Rain, Party & Disaster Society,
NightBlock, Split Lip Magazine, and similar:peaks::, among others. His first full-
length collection, Rebel Hearts & Restless Ghosts, is forthcoming in 2015 from
Timber Mouse Publishing.​






Swallower

#

You and your mother
are attempting
to swallow a pond
of significant size.

Algae turns your teeth
a slimy green, slides along
your tongue like jellied fur.

A small perch
with three hooks in
his lip swims to the back
of your throat,

sets out a fine china set
for two. A minnow
who fancies himself a whale
pours tea into small cups.

#

You, and six other
identical flowers
have decided to take
the ferry out to sea.

There is an island made
entirely of polished rocks
three miles out. Your father

is wearing a sea-
captain's hat,
mumbling to himself
about the weather

#

before the earth was covered in water it wore an amulet
of fish scales and pomegranate seeds around its neck

#

Everything —
and I mean EVERYTHING

used to be covered in feathers
before the flood.

#

You and your mother
are attempting
to swallow a pond —
no! This time a river!

It is mud brown,
covered in saw dust.

Your mother's throat when she coughs
sounds like a warm, crackling fire.

#

You, and six other identical flowers
are all wearing multi-colored hats.

It is not Sunday,
but you are dressed
like it is — black

velvet dress, suede shoes,
a bright blue sash tied around
your waist.

#

When you sing,
bees fly in and around
your mouth
without stinging.

With each new stanza
honey erupts
like a volcano
from your tongue. ​



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