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Darbi Alise Howe Feb 2017
I hear they hoard Picasso’s like diamonds.

Excess is common—
escargot at a diner, Parisian no more,
cheapened slime beneath
industrial grade lighting.

drawn and quartered, all cut up,

hung from the wall of some
split-level apartment
where I hear a man
hanged himself
(and his children might, too*)

Their bitterness
licks at the paint
in ordinary strokes
driving down the value of,
what once was,
a masterpiece.
* GENETICS 101 will be taught next week (see syllabus).
Darbi Alise Howe Feb 2017
“Was it the backless back of a black dress that did it?”

                                          They’ll ask, loudly
                                          even though the wolves that roam these streets
                                          are merely feigning sleep
                                          and are starving


                                          They will agree
                                          as drool slips from the hinge of a wolfish grin
                                          from the forked tongue
                                          of an angel

“What else could she expect?”

                                         Of course
                                         they must abide by the code of the pack(of course)
                                         which is of course
                                         the root of disrespect

“How obscene! How uncouth!”

                                         (how to measure human flesh)
                                         as if they could  hold up her “no(s)” to his “yes”
                                         which is bigger and louder
                                         and stronger

“Yes! … Yes! … Yes!”

                                         As if to them
                                         to the wolves, to the men, to the uncondemned
                                         what happened, really
                                         was for the best.
Darbi Alise Howe Feb 2017
The owner bites the dog, I bit myself
I think
I ate my leash
My psychological hand pulls the chain
from my stomach, leading me into the kitchen where
You are making coffee

I wake up in the morning
and curse you
that bed, that old vessel of human broth
I make it
Repackaged, like new,
let’s consume from within –
Crisis averted

Last night I dreamt of islands
chasing me
And I was afraid
because I had deserted them

Pour me a cup of coffee
I accept
offering you a smile, but
no gratitude, or hope
While my mind gnaws
at the memory
of love.
Darbi Alise Howe Oct 2016
Ex nihilo: you, refusing to apologize
I wonder
if the world that your eyes violate and consume
painted in the colorless color that comes
from mixing all colors
your color.

I have painted my room with you and now
it is nothing, no
nothing at all

I yawn and I tremble

Consequentially; therefore; thus; and so;
- as a result
the cracked walls speak of (but do not explain)
thorned, tragic, unyielding;
sighs of futility writ large

You, on a Sunday
painting the world
in your color
Darbi Alise Howe Sep 2016
And I felt the universe explode behind my eyes.
                     The language and thoughts
                                     and sensations that accompany such—
                                                 This sea foam fever, this glassy-eyed sickness;
                            what a beautiful horror!  I shiver.
                                                      Thi­s and that.  The shadow of an afternoon.
                                                      ­ A Thursday.
Perhaps it was imagined (that time has passed, that it happened at all)
      But when I wake up in the morning,
                    Emptied of the ticking tocking melancholic howl,
                                   I know why this is so—
                                   I believe I know why this is so—

Of course, to say it aloud would be suicide, and the lovers of the love of the fear prefer purgatory, and of course we do what we can to do what we do to maintain, obtain, sustain.  I aim—
Yes, I aim!—but not in a fulfilled sense:  esse est percipi—to be is to be perceived—a foreign and welcome sensation.  But put those hands away, put that look away, before I forget my—
Before it is lost.  
Lost...? Yes, lost.  
My name, I believe in my name.  Perhaps.  To crawl to crawl to crawl inside of this warm nothingness that tastes like gold soft sweet afternoons, like
like stopping at the gas station before the forest like the blueness between 5 and 6 pm.  A truly really very steep sort of warmth.  

Temporal fears are so beautifully placed.

Saturdays, when I take the train home
through the hazing misting grayness
I am happy
Darbi Alise Howe Apr 2016
It was raining and it was morning.
They sat in the car underneath a tree, upon a hill, overlooking the vast cemetery below.  Clichès still have the potential to be beautiful, they know. Intellectual awareness allows for understood symbolism, the death of that which dies at a cemetery, the emotional downpour demarcated by rain, the interstitial distance of looking forward and down.
Silence and language working symbiotically as a stratagem to both hide and reveal vulnerability.  The clichè of their location works with the conversation.
He is sad. She knows.
She knows the emotional location he lives within, she purposefully disregarded his eyes, those eyes that have always stared at her from the mirror, her eyes. The eyes of those with hollow love for themselves. The selfishness of selflessness, the facticity of unfortunate neurological tendencies, the self-imposed limitations.
They speak. He speaks.
She hears him speak, she who is devoid of empathy, she reaches empathy through his words, she hears the thesis of her own thoughts, she cries. She cries because he narrates her perception of herself, through narrating his perception of himself, and she knows the meaning of it.
He cries because it is his.
He looks away.
He says I don't want you to know the things about me. The things that are disgusting.
She loves those things. It's not enough. She knows.
She talks to herself, she talks to him.
She takes his hand, they cling to the ephemeral union.
It stops raining.
They walk into the chapel, the ashes of those who lived resting upon glass bookshelves, behind glass cases. They sit upon a couch in silence. They collapse, against each other.
Two women observe the marble of the mausoleum.
They arise. The women are startled. The women didn't see them sitting; they were three feet away.
He takes her home. They fade into wordlessness during the drive. They look at each other with desperation at a stop sign.
She says goodbye. She walks away.
They walk away.
Darbi Alise Howe Feb 2016
1) It puts the peanut butter on its *****
2) Finna meat sum *******
3) Classical conditioner
4) Pavlov ain't russian in the bathroom
5) He would never steak his reputation upon his looks
6) He met his husband on meatgrindr
7) His creepy uncle
8) Pavlov rools dogs drool
9) He was tired of being confused with Sylvia Plath
10) He needed all the leverage he could get on Skinner
my application to a satirical magazine
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