By William C. Blome


Roses no sooner get centered in my fireplace
than they send out a fragrance of hesitation,
some wispy girl a-stumbling down the staircase
as if it were a spillway for decisions
like which wife can keep gasping in and out,
which wife should be birthing, which wife
should be in here stacking stores of comfort,
and which wife should so crave invisibility
as to no longer be able not to vanish. However,
I’m the kind of basic guy who thinks big issues
are simply those that can’t escape detection,
shit like who’s up next to seed, who’s up after that
to feed, and who’ll be up eventually to deed
away my bushes in some court of law
before new blooms get pruned and shaped
within a bowl, and before they’re centered ‘twixt
two sooty firedogs. And then the killer question,
of course, is which fine honey gets tasked to stick
around the den and stoke the blaze so fucking high
neither flower nor thorn can evade becoming ash.


You can’t hurt me by putting the long fingers you pull with in turpentine and then grabbing my sex, and then chanting passages from Leviticus. I’m immune to shit like that, though like Lois before you, you seem to think it’s worth a shot. I guess my question is simply: whatever happened to just prodding my thighs with a sharpened carrot? Didn’t you always get most of what you wanted? My only regret with that approach is that it left me a tad scared of oranges and pumpkins for the rest of my life, but the look on your face when I ejaculated all the way across to your pinky toe was wondrous, was lovely.


Driving solo through the night can be something of a bear,
and if I know I have to hibernate—if the vodka within’s
transitioning me from cheerleader to Little Bo Peep—
I start to look for a stationary searchlight, and I pull aside
when I get lucky. I hop out of the Chevy and go over
to the upturned beacon. I can feel the heat of its light
as I strip down to panties and a bra, and I’ve learned
through trial and error exactly what it takes to mount
the circular housing and go spread-eagle ‘cross the lens.
The warmth of the glass against my pillow-less face
(and just inside my abdomen) is everything I could want,
and I realize in the smallest muscle movements, I’m
likely changing shadows on some far and unknown wall.
(Or is it making shadows on a close and pressing sky?)     


Plainsman Brown walks to town one morning
dreaming of Puerto Rican women so large-breasted
they often fall over as they go about their daily business.
He pauses near Grand Forks—
comes to a standstill by the side of the road—
and ponders if there’s any way on God’s green earth
he might stay near and at-the-ready
to rush in and cushion PR women as they topple,
to be, in other words,  Plainsman Brown: Supportive and Resilient
(and, again, not for his own sake, but to aid
the misshapen and unsteady Latin lovelies).

After a little less than five minutes of lascivious, self-indulgent thought,
Plainsman Brown puts his dreaming on hold
and picks up the pace once more. He strides into Grand Forks.
He’s hardly in Grand Forks, however,
when he starts thinking about life as a factory worker in China,
where there’s a girl who gets frozen in this half-in, half-out position
as she attempts to climb down from bed one morning and get ready
to go to her job at a shoe factory near Shenyang.
She finds herself stuck in place (naked and rooted in her dorm room),
unable to quell or even acknowledge the near-frantic gestures, tugging,
and pulling of her roommates. Plainsman Brown’s wheels of thought
continue to spin in China for awhile—he’d like to be Plainsman Brown:
Supportive and Resilient there too—
but he succumbs to a stronger preference
(that continuing urgency to buffer the Puerto Rican bimbos)
rather than attempt to unlimber one Chinese gluer/lacer.

It’s possible such mental repetition, comparison, and decision-making
about where and to whom he can best render assistance
is blinding Plainsman Brown to another reality this day:
there are no women to be found anywhere in Grand Forks.
Not in the classrooms, not in the board rooms,
not in the libraries, not in the kitchens.
Most men would likely be dumbfounded to find themselves
in a 53,000-plus population (but minus every female, skirt,
scarf, and skillet), yet Plainsman Brown isn’t in their ranks,
he’s not among such shocked fellows, for at the moment,
he’s oblivious to the truly-absent (like the statue-like Asian honey
struggling to animate and get to work). Yet anyone
in Grand Forks who now takes the time to greet and grill
Plainsman Brown will, in fact, believe he’s up against—
and confronting—the strongest reality there is this day
in all of North Dakota: namely, a dozen or so sets of rippling,
Caribbean tits and mahogany areolas, struggling to maintain
their outward thrust and upward spread (their stasis and status,
in other words) as they come down beneath this Spanish
cursing, and all of this all the while in shaky eyeshot
of this local-yokel clown who can’t stop flopping
on the plains to buffer chicas crashing from above.


You want a test of smarts, sweet meat, I’ll give you a fucking test: try leaving a Brussells cathedral without first zooming through Verona, and as you squat at the table now (pushing your breasts aside so you can properly take the exam), you’re getting a smidgeon of an idea just how tough it is to come to grips with the multi-simultaneous nature of the Trinity. This is likely the kind of quandary that’s at the heart of St. Augustine’s predicament with understanding shit in general, though I have to point out there’s a squooshy-soft whore in Bergen, Norway who’s stony-hard in her belief that the central problem with the triune concept is why God didn’t move to cast himself into something like a many-faced crystal instead of only a three-headed hydra.

authorWilliam C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives in the ‘States, wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is a master’s degree graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Poetry London, PRISM International, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, Salted Feathers and The California Quarterly.