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.​



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 —

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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