Brandi Homan


Stranger monologue to El ceiling. I know what I'm talking about. We got to give what we know or we'll all get fucked. Euripides. As long as we got electricity, we're ok.



Clark and Lake, pigeon-blocking girder spurs feel in your face. Out, out, city seagulls! Heat lamps you can't huddle under.



Chicago rules off the break, eight-ball wins. This city gives me seizures. Fuck or fight.



Frilly pink prom dress, bus, unironic tiara. He waits as wolf, bear, monster to cuss or cuddle. I'm gonna punch Carmen down the dance floor if. Oh no she didn't—



J texted back take what's yours, love you. Next time, crab ragoon. Ask for what you want. Love you too.



Can I get a one-way ticket? You flying a plane?



It's starting to look a little Grey Gardens up in here, Medium Edie. Can our safeword be “pineapple”? Pineapple.



Blade lines appeared, veins itching. Language changes everything, zero at the bone.



Chaos theory, you called me belle laide. If ever an itch needs scratched. Stamp of approval, yes Boss? Lost.



Both Em and Noelle left town. I'm underground, a house of glass blocks.



November hits you like a side of beef in backswing. Put nose to skin and badly, clumsy. Smell of sleep.



I can't explain if you're not listening. Why I let you hurt me. Call it want, to want. Every poem I've written.



Lawrence's Fish House, southside river. Yachts and abandoned lofts. You name it, they fry it.



This train is full to capacity. Step in, step in.



He has a picture of bookshelves on his cell. Sakura karaoke videos on repeat, sterile couches. Never enough hot mustard, I can't masturbate with the dog in the apartment.



Goth night at Neo. The dancer spun love your body! Love everyone! Surfaces next to a fat bald rabbit, pink tutu, striped socks. Disco jigsaw on dance floor. We are lovely creatures.



Sometimes there is nothing to do but go home and call your mother and that won't help.



Finally citizen, shitty Chicago. Apartments I lived/never/lived in, the city itself. Turbo took a job across town, Jamesy followed. This corner, that.



What if I can't make it. Something transmittable by air, I don't belong here—



We've been watching the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 2: Making the Team marathon. Happy penis, sad penis.



Neo again. Panties in his pocket like Cosmo. God-help-me slutty still square. Can I come home with you instead—



If in need of feminine products, ask the bartender for Roberto.



He told me to force-feed the dog hydrogen peroxide. What came up was yellow and bubbly. Alien monstrosity, the dog and I are crying.



Pilsen Halsted stop. Concrete gives you hemorrhoids, January. Stranger wearing a house-arrest ankle bracelet in snow. Chicago in the Aughts is my Paris in the Thirties.



Frequent urges to lie down in random places, inappropriate times. Self-portrait as dead rat on sidewalk, gristle, hide. Overwhelming weight of objects, life in the way of writing. Writing in the way of life. Hold on tight.



Black February railyards. View from the 18th Street bridge is stark. What if, what if I. Suicide by grey sky.



The suit man outside ABC. Bright greens, turquoise, pinks, he holds the ends of his sleeves. Grasping, twisting in. Hair a tuft, a puff, a sidewise, sloppy grin.



Grocery shopping at 7-11. Does this mean it's time to leave? Maybe I'll kick rocks. Surprise, Arizona.



Paco carried my Bitch box to the Burlington. Next, Hansa Clipper, 1979. Forever locked in amber, ale. Burritos El Pacifico.



Mutiny, where the wild things are. Western shirts, Virginia stories. Who have I made love to? Who have I loved?



Blue bête noire, fuck you and your grid system. Miscreant sunsets, debauched streets, I am constantly just getting through you.



You blackguard, you bitch, you mise en abyme.



When the dog died I gave up eating anything green. It might be too late to leave. It might be too late for anything.



I'm drunk now and tin fish really are fish. Fuck you fish. Fuck you, town. Goodbye Blue Monday or boom. I love him and you.




Emily Dickinson, Maurice Sendak, Andy Trebing, and
Kurt Vonnegut





"Six Fish" is from a longer work titled Strange Fish Something Fierce, which started as a series of postcards to an imaginary boyfriend. Fortunately, the real boyfriend stuck around to see how it ended.