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May 9, 2022

3 Poems

Prit Patel


[SFX: a court stenographer typing with an on-screen keyboard and a PS2 controller]

[SFX: the sheet of a ghost rustling in the wind after getting caught on a chain link fence]

[SFX: a quiet prayer heard outside the window every time you’re about to eat]

[SFX: a leaf violently turning yellow]

[SFX: a gust of wind barreling through a perm]

[SFX: misidentifying an actor out loud in a packed movie theater]

[SFX: checking the “Other” box and writing “Extremely virile” on the line below]

[SFX: your mind palace being stormed by football hooligans]

[SFX: chef-inspired flatulence]

[SFX: ambulance sirens coming from inside a house]

[SFX: a freestyle rap overhead in a confessional booth]

[SFX: blood-curdling screams spliced into white noise machines]

[SFX: rectangles in a Mondrian moaning as they grind against each other]

[SFX: the creak of bones adjusting to our crowded world]


The Conjurer In Repose

The day has been diseased with storm, like there’s no cure for being wet. I’m hard at work on a more civilized time table, one in which I will work on farmers’ hours. One of these evenings, I will come out from under my cloud and end the day in a prologue, an introduction to the inevitable.

I am trying to activate some mirror neurons that will mirror back some newness. I am trying to peel myself off from what we’ve collectively agreed to call the present. I am trying to find the arrangement of keystrokes that will shock me out of whatever this is, whatever you want to call it. I am trying to see past the Predator-vision of my emotions.

I am staring at a picture of a glass of water sitting next to an ocean, oblivious to the surrounding magnitude.


Dream Stains

Dear redacted, I write to you from the lobby of an abandoned REM cycle. My own bed is a distant Wyoming to me now, ever since I became a weary traveler in the sleep study circuit.

Some nights, I wake to find the dreams have leaked from my ears, leaving stains on the medical grade pillow. Other nights, I wake to find that I am the technician, slow dancing to the sound of night terrors from behind the two way mirror.

I wonder if sleep was a quest devised to distance us from the desperation at night. I wonder if we are stuck in a complicated phase of regeneration, as told by the lazy prophet to his son the gamer.