Ryder Collins

I gained twenty pounds in a summer of
oral pleasures. My landlord, Larry, keeps
calling for a new lease. I want to move
to Amsterdam and open a Mexican
restaurant. I want to cook tortillas,
mushroom chimichangas; smoke marijuana.
Alcohol just don't cut it any more.

I want to watch Mommie Dearest whilest deep
cleansing my face. I want to scare you back
with a green masque, wire hangers, cold roast beef
going to lard. I remember the mushy
carrots and potatoes. How you gummed them. It was sexy
as I jogged behind you mountain biking. How we
climbed that hill in the middle of your town.

And conquered the lava floe. Black basalt.
It is not my heart that flails, that fails at
these times. I called you across the country.
Secretly, I ate smoked gouda and practiced
my Dutch conjugations. Pretended,
mynheer, that word order adhered or you
were not there. You could tell by the way I

muffled the phone with a hand or pillow.
How I clomped down the hall in wooden shoes
so you still couldn't hear, how I sent you
tulips smeared with pico. How I coquetted,
yet demanded the primacy of verbs.
How you've become the object, subject,
absence: I've always been and will be leaving.




I've got a thing for form, some might say a fetish. I don't usually write in form, because, as every dutiful American should, I repress desire until I just can't anymore. I bust out a sonnet like that hidden riding crop; I pull on those lines like leather thigh-high boots. And when I'm done I'm always please can I have some more?

P.S. This is purely metaphoric, of course; the image of the poet performing certain non-Puritanical acts upon him/ herself, while somewhat ludicrous (because who does that?), also evokes the thrall the muse has upon us all. Or something like that.