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THE STATE OF THE STATE
Poems by Tanner Harshman

 

As Soon as Spring

raspberry lips
stain prints
upon lilac skin
and the pollen wind
wells up eyes
as bloodshot
as the rose dress
that lies
at her rooting feet
and these allergies
tend to compromise
everything that
coincides
with thoughts
consisting of clear skies

maybe today
might bring rain
that will drown me
in antihistamines

 

 

The State of The State

politicians don
bold team colors
and animal mascots
making you believe
your team is correct
and their team is wrong
when after the game
they both retire to
the same locker room

cops arrest those
according to micro laws
that twist with viper language
they throw them away
in an orange garbage bag
a bizarre farm
where men are caged
and pigs roam free

the churches rally
followers like cockroaches
to infest and transmit
ancient propaganda
how foolish all the others are
how they will burn like tinder
to warm our bones
only they have the correct morals
only they know what’s best for you

cast the vote
surrender peacefully
eat the communion
there’s no way
you can lose

 

 

Growing Pains

liquefying in a cocoon
of seclusion
lonely clung
to the dim lit
alley wall

surrounded by graffiti
ammonia rises from a puddle
of an excreted martini
while I
try to grow my wings
try to change my color

eyes set upon the
electric blues and yellow
of the florescent neon sign
on the establishment of larvae
squirming in the night

organs shifting
in a chrysalis
too tight to hold me in

even if I obtained
these wings
I don’t even know
where I would fly
but it would be away
from this alley
this street light
this bar
and every
drowning worm
writhing inside

 

 

 

The Desert Is West

I caught myself
staring at a cactus
blooming bright and sharp
on the window sill

if only people could be so simple
to know you are guaranteed pain
when you touch them

if only they could be so silent
and so content
when they are lost

if only they could just be beautiful
staring out the window smiling
standing strong
in the scorching sun

then a woman walked by
and broke my concentration
with a bloom in her hair
and a safety pin in her dress

 

 

 

Mantis

she’s sowing her garden
with bad seeds
of the broken hearted
sniffing pollen
donning track marks
from a yellow jacket swatted

she’s watering her irises
with salt water from her irises
brooding over what the voice
coming from the silence is

the truth lies in those bleeding hearts
strung up by the vine
blooming sweet blood in March

a praying mantis settles on a lilac
whispering Hail Mary’s
hoping hollow eyes
get their spark back

in the dried canopy
snakes find a new home
pale ghost roses
her crisis is home grown

sunshine blocked by a
dark horse eclipse
three more gallop
bringing her
mental apocalypse

 

 

 

 

 

 

author

About the Author
Tanner Harshman is a twenty-four-year-old mortician apprentice, and a recent graduate from Mid-America College of Funeral Service. He is from Muncie, IN currently residing in Louisville, KY. He has been writing since he was fourteen years old. He pull his inspiration from the dark underbelly of society and mix it with the beauty of nature in an attempt to bring the inanimate to life and to kill the immortal.

 

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