Tongues in each others mouth is how lovers
speak to unsettle eternal darkness.

My tongue touches nothing. Email and texts
are a weak ersatz for your absence. I inhale

from a perfumed letter you sent last summer.
Its musky patchouli is you. Wrapped around

my waist, breathing, hard. Tonight the moon shakes
powder from her boney skin. Bamboo chimes

rattle the breeze like the silk-strung bones
of my own fingers sifting through the thick

peach of your hair. Paramours at the end
of the mind, (Stevens, you were wrong) we are

dreams that forget themselves as is
our preternatural natures to predispose us

into the waking dreams of our own minds
that coats the garden in this quiet ashen light

powered by the prolonged pain of your absence:
I am not waving but drowning.

(copyright 2016 Kurt Lovelace all rights reserved)

was strange. The roads really didn’t make sense
wending their way around Lake Houston. I

got stuck, my big black Mercedes backed
into a ditch, I had to let it go

further-in in order to get traction,
tires spinning on the soft wet grasses

finally let me go, forward again
down a black incomprehensible street

like the face of this beaten woman
her blue eyes lusting for everything

that I might have given her, her life.

(copyright 2016 Kurt Lovelace all rights reserved)

…audio of the author reading KingWood…

I sit here sipping coffee night’s bitterness
being without you kindles with it is a kind
of muskiness I open my lips to your absence
mouth on mine touching your milk-salted breasts
nipples against my nose holding your hips
in my obscene hands

nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing

copyright 2016 Kurt Lovelace all rights reserved

Tuesday, I’m feeling glum somewhere while out
in public, larking across Rice Boulevard. Icy

shaved rain cones the wet rag of my head.
Ducking crapping pigeons huddled under eves,

my dripping wet face a blotched Fuji apple
flung into Half Price Books’s Arctic AC

to meet no one but flip leaves of dead trees.
You stand tip-toed toward your belly, legs spread

wide as you kneel down toward a bookcase.
I make you move, slightly, and we are soon

gazing over coffee. Your hand recovers mine.
I squeeze it hard. We smile. You shudder and suggest

we hang at your upstairs loft at the Domain
a few blocks over and around a corner

bending over, spread open the bright pink boat
of yourself, head sideways and down on silk pillows

the room’s ribbed sails of long white curtains flap, pop
open, then stiffen full-bellied in the billowing wind.

copyright 2016 Kurt Lovelace all rights reserved

 by Kevin Prufer

No money
and the mailbox grew wet and empty-hearted
in the rain. No money

and the ambulance’s great red eye
lit someone else’s
sleeping street.

Darling, they made me leave the hospital
and come home
where, moneyless, I looked out the window, into the rain.

You were empty, asleep and untouchable
in your hospital gown. Emptily,
the nurses walked past me,

their sympathetic heels chipping the linoleum.
Darling, the bruise where the IV goes
was round as the absence of a coin,

and you, asleep, the tube in your throat
both terrifying and
I don’t know what to call it-

broke? Without money,
the world Stops, the world’s great cities
close their eyes.

Then the heart goes dead no matter how they pound it.
Without money, I keep driving
the long road from the hospital

cursing the nurse who touched my arm so gently,
said, “go home now, there’s nothing you can do.”

it’s so much easier to talk about money,
to spend myself inside this poem.
Wake up.

You’ve slept and slept while the rain came down.
say something, anything at all.
Open your bankrupt mouth.

While sipping coffee, I read what one student wrote:
“The surviving fifty rare whooping cranes
with their seven-foot wingspread that propels them
in their annual migration from northern Canada
to the Gulf of Mexico fly unerringly
and swiftly overhead as they migrate southward
using a kind of built-in radar in their search
for winter quarters near Aransas Pass.”

Surviving fifty myself, feeling rare and whooping
with my six-foot slouch that propels me nowhere
in my daily migrations from the kitchen to the couch,
I live by the Gulf of Mexico, sleep unerringly and
swiftly, undercover, my dreams migrate southward
using a kind of built-in slinky
in search for vaginal quarters
near my wife’s Aransas Pass.

To be surviving melanoma is rare
with its seven wretched drugs I puke, that propels
me out of the gothic hospital to monthly migrations of chemo;
swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, on my back, I float unerringly
and slowly, overheard, the nurses’ whispers migrate southward
out of memory, which is a kind of built-in shit-breeder
when I am in pain and searching for the way out
near the dark rings of Uranus.

But survival is everything rare as whooping
or her pubic hair spread to propel me
in my daily migrations from her coffer to wherever
it is in the Gulf of Mexico I am off to, I unerringly
admit to caring enough to love her butt
less than I ought too as I migrate southward
using a kind of built-in stupidity
in my blindly succumbing to what is expected of me
clearly perfecting it into a fairly fucked life.

© 2015  Kurt Lovelace – All Rights Reserved


I can almost hear the waves sweep in, their soft susurrations,
tips of their lips breaking between my curled toes.

Noise is now everywhere I want to be
without it. Cars swoosh past Galveston beach roaring their inept monstrous lungs. I can barely

breathe. Or think. Why do trees and blades of every green thing shudder?
Because we are a hyper-intelligent insidious poison? Cats and dogs cling to us in shock and awe.

Ninety-five percent of a car’s energy goes towards moving simply itself not the passengers.
Or rather that’s 2,500 pounds of wastefulness before the crux of tissue steering the steel.

In Hermann Memorial Park a yellow-blue finch tries to sing and fails
in the roar cars shed in their wake on the I-10 adjoining the beige greenery.

I nod off under a canker tree. A whale whistles out of its water spout, breathing. I roll under
such plushness, floating with barnacles and sticky ambergris. So glued are our dream’s illogical logic.

I am a sticky carbuncle tearing through the earth’s thin breathability. It’s afternoon in Houston.
I shower again. I scrunch into a starched shirt. I rope my throat with a dead worm’s shiny excrement.


My right ear is dead. When I was three
German measles like dappled freckles

grew in me, killing the nerve. My left ear
still good, at thirteen, I hear pretty well

the unprettiness in my parent’s voices as they divorce
and I listen in, in the mosquito bitten dark

roof above the living room window, then roll
on my back to swallow insignificance

in the drifting milky way above. Now
the frogs have started up. A few ducks quack. A splash

might be catfish come to nibble at the stars
tangled in cheap tabloid, suspended on the pond’s scum. My chest

makes a soft squelching sound like tossed gravel granite
settling into the decay layer at the ponds pitch black bottom.


Some sounds have no feet, like running in a dream
with something chasing behind. Once, as a boy

in the Bahamas, in Freeport, in a wooded area
two older boys forced me to be

naked, and dance for them, my penis
slapping around like a snake in the beak

or eye of some predatory bird, I forget
which one it was that kept me, held

squirming, until I ran screaming and
pounding my way past the low palm trees. Power

is holding the thing that does not want you
to rape it into a display for you to play

with, you’d think. If you could think.
Those are pearls that were his eyes

nothing of him that doth fade but suffers.

copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

(def: German. An improvement that makes things worse.)

Benched downtown, lipping a latte, my eyes
pause at the vast new construction
glistening across the street. In its shadow

I watch a bird die into the third story
of its reflection. Falling, it intimates to me
the terribly intimate stupidity of the engineer

who flowered the foresight that birds
might mistake themselves for their reflections,
but the engineer, who, nevertheless

got up every morning and shaved money
from the budget of his building,
now grows his dead birds on the pavement.

copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

Aliens are orbiting earth, dining
on a dimmed diamond table. Oceans
float in windows the size of walls.

On transparent aluminum toothpicks
hover two lips with tongues, sans mouth, sans face,
sans head, sans bodies — wrapped like bacon

around each other, gingerly pushed through
intact lips as appetizer, the whole
human entrée hoisted up behind it,

anatomy impeccably arranged.

copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

There’s a certain joy in watching someone you hate
suffer. Naturally it took a German
mind to cobble together and join the words
schade and freude, joy at suffering. I see

how easy it happened. Pointed helmet
on head, my great grandfather, Peter Kessel,
seated atop his rust-red Reitpferd in WWI
came crushing over a small patch

of flowers through the forest he guarded.
Yellow dandelions and white Spring saxifrage
had commandeered the fields with their beauty.
Peter ‘s horse snorted and slowed. Ahead,

what had been hidden in small heights
of wild grass lay a man sprawled on his back.
Peter dismounted, pushed a polished boot
into the man. He jerked and moaned.

His left hand, zigzaged like a baguette
conducting the breeze. He began to sing
“C’est la vie.” Grandfather kneeled.
Ungloving his left hand, he touched

the man’s forehead. Schade — he said, too bad
– it was schade. His own supplies
meager, he’d been told not to bring
enemy combatants back to camp.

The Frenchmen was rotten with fever.
Peter trotted on, leaving him. Without much thought
he’d have shot a crippled horse. Behind him,
the man’s cries rose like larks into the meadow.

copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

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