The beauty is in your mouth where all things are Starting with a line from Julie Choffel’s “The Beauties” The beauty is in your mouth where all things are— queer tongue ruddering its language in the river of your breath, stepping stone molars’ grindstone topography, their cider press promise. Language of the deep and shallow draft, entry into tributary and undredged port, into delta of sighing. Your queer lips, too—their plosive plot lines sweeping like seines. Oh minnow caught. Unwary one snagged in the net, whose shadow on the bank demands a parchment, flailing against this Viking advance.
Look, Look, Look A cento of lines and fragments from Deborah Boten, Dara Wier, Jack Gilbert, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Jack Spicer, Claudia Rankin, Hans Arp, Beverly Dahler, Gwendolyn Brooks, W. B. Yeats, Walt Whitman, Sherwin Bitsui, John Ashbery Someone we know is always falling in love with a charlatan. Where shall I find the Beloved? The jays are showing off, day crashes into night moon and milk pail. The poem is picking up one kind of glory— an example of the real world— a stick, a cup, a bowl, a comb limbs gone missing. For a little while, we visited the monster in the lake our possible life. But don’t go on that boat. Look, look, look— open your mouth remember to go home.
Prairie View On Highway 290 between Houston and Austin, Prairie View, I pass a flood scale beneath an overpass, black marks on white like a height scale taped to an exit. Memory’s flood scale in Prairie View: Sandra Bland’s alma mater, robbed return passing a height scale taped to a door, drowning in rivers of shame and anger. Sandra Bland, returning to her alma mater— should not have spelled death in that jail cell. Her answers drowning in the rising threats to light her up, the officer spelling out jail cell for failure to use a turn signal. While he threatened to light her up, the drown marker lent its notions of traffic stopping, failure to read signals. Here on a dry day the road seems safe until the drown marker transmits its notion of what can happen to someone driving alone— on any day. The road can seem safe—then beneath an overpass, white marks and black— what can happen to someone driving alone on Highway 290 between Houston and Austin. First appeared in Di-Verse-City 2017, the anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival
Cindy Huyser’s chapbook, Burning Number Five: Power Plant Poems, was a winner of the 2014 Blue Horse Press Poetry Chapbook contest. Her most recent book is the anthology Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press, 2016), which she edited with Scott Wiggerman. Her poetry has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and recent work appears in Di-Verse-City (the anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival), Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, San Pedro River Review, and Illya’s Honey. Learn more about her at https://cindyhuyser.wordpress.com.