Bone Mother

Before there was me, you were digging up bones: sand thrush and tongue frozen: 
wintering, wake up:  I miss your spine: Unstrung in a closet: The earth grows
a woman with water in her lungs: That’s before I imagined my life without you:
Even in dreams I can’t fly: Wingless hummingbird under a compass: Nights of
salt: I breathe your out-breath in: We eat each other’s waves: My stomach’s
bony hungers float out of me: We share the gift of clairvoyance: We can
see a wolf coming from a month away: Enough time to shutter the windows:
Line bird candles up on window sills: Enough time to sharpen the axe: I’ve
strangled chickens quietly enough: Light smoking: Light my pelvis bone the color
of bee sting: I loved you according to the laws of ice: We find a fossilized
womb: The skin can see: Without explanations.



Driving to the Hospital, After My Water Breaks Nine Weeks Early

I flailed out
a baby of unrest

to stay rooted
blood, placed on skull

direction, the idea of not
or a bird’s moon

long fall. Gardens
ponds nest, while he

into salty desire not-
Longings from a long-

laces up windows. 
smell unfolded.

moving, I see him
the way he entered

down my throat
the one who bleeds me

the one who carves
who cracks my pelvis,

mountains, when he
him as a lamb curled

as fog lifting
I behold his face

my forehead pressed
his face as he dies

shake me though
while his waters

of my mother’s arms,
as if this inability

is passed through
tops not facing any

writing  my home
light and frozen-over

swim red-eyed,
desires unfolding

away spring.
candling. Blood

Memorize his steeped
When he stops

row out of my belly,
me winds howling

impaling my uterus
rains into my mouth

out mountain, the one
he-who-hollows between

stops moving I see
as throat whispers

a waving hand
me to his feet

Hold me, Lord
his winds shake me

my body doesn’t move
shake through me.



Queen Bee planning her father’s funeral

She walks in a swarm of imaginary bees,
their whirring wings a buzz like tinnitus,
something to talk over, an auditory fog
that blends words to fill in the gaps 
with antonyms of cognitive dissonance.

She sweats a Vaseline sheen,
a happy honeysuckle scent, secreted
from hexagonal glands, wringing her hands
through the coffee mug’s ear, as she slips
from skin to skin, pretending to smile. 

Her father, the straw man she puts a match to,
but every day he survives the flame, Moloch in reverse,
and it hurts, the waiting, the inevitable loneliness
that cannot be acknowledged. Instead, she celebrates
every breath as if his next will never come,

while building a coffin for each one
of the worker bees in her hive, 
devouring the honey 
of manufactured happiness
from her body, the tree trunk.

~Jay Sizemore~

(from Jay Sizemore’s first chapbook, “Father Figures”, a personal journey through childhood into adolescence and adulthoodnow available here  -



hind sight blurry

I should write a happy poem, but I don’t know how. 
Everything I say feels like a lie. 
Spoiler alert: everything is fucked because of money. 
The first night I stayed in your house
there was a porno left in the VCR;
I stayed up past dawn, jerking off. 
The family business was a grease pit,
so I stopped washing my hair. 
My mother got drunk and pretended to be a pirate. 
Hearts were made from fistfuls of cashews. 
A rectangle scar in the side of your head
where they sucked the black blood off your brain.
Loaded pistol in the top drawer,
pink dildo kept in the bottom.
How many days I wished to be someone else. 
A Freemason symbol on one hand,
a lion on the other,
neither clasped in prayer, 
neither bunched in curls of blonde hair.
Left like Tin Man to rust in the rain.

(from Jay Sizemore’s first chapbook, “Father Figures”, a personal journey through childhood into adolescence and adulthoodnow available here  -



The Chariot Drives the Lovers Out of Her Womb, onto the D Train

      He is the son. Over his head, a gown of stars—
      his shoulders—full of moon. He contains
      multitudes of bats living inside his chest—the bats
      feed on his organs, vomit blood back
      into veins.

      He steers the sun's subway across skies
      back to dawn's gates. Here, rain bathes nothing
      except oyster shells boiling a future.
      He is never home.



The Wheel Keeps Bodies Afloat, Bursts Guts from Their Seams

      '97 black Nissan drives
      to Port Chester on Hutch
      —a woman mouths
      cocksucker when it switches
      to the left / License plate
      spills blood clots on pavement
      —later raccoons will lap up
      the red / Pump gas for $30
      —enter sprawl

      A child alone, holds
      gun in a gas station lot
      —mother looks at child
      before digging in & all
      father sees is red / A magician
      pulls out scorpions
      from a bowler / says the weak
      have inherited the earth



The Hanged Man Suspends in Time

      From a maple tree, he hangs
      by one foot for nine days until his body
      forms a cross

      to bridge—life's awakening / A hole
      whittles his torso—threads together
      each muscle—a Greek chorus

      Coyotes gorge, sag
      in a white landscape interrupted
      by a lamb's sprawled intestines

      Still & breathing, the lamb whispers
      in falsetto—shivers like snow
      dropped in milk:

      I am dead as a forgotten
      man, no mind / I am a broken vessel
      Fangs dip arteries

      Boiling up through blades
      of grass—the lamb spreads, purrs
      into a shit

      angel / Bleeding into the hanged
      man, the host rapes veins—
      rasps merlot



The Moon Is Always Horny

      An astrologer sits / under the moon
      Plots a horoscope for a man / nameless
      as a pack of wolves
      Out of a clay oven / two tombstones
      are born / The astrologer asks whom
      do you love?

      The man answers tomorrow
      when I wake / I will buy tulips
      &place them over each grave

      Between each body / moonlight
      will reflect / the heat
      will break their bones / half-a-dozen

      dove swill fly from their ash / a woman
      will gasp breath / a lake will bleed out
      the woman will bathe in water /
      her eyes are hazel—opposite
      of the black
      sea / I will buy a sailboat & learn
      the smell of burnt flesh / of water turning
      to desert

the woman who rises
is the woman I love



The High Priestess Is the Bride of Christ

      Her head is a horned
      diadem, breast in cross
      —she turns her head
      toward the temple's veil,
      soaks tea leaves until ink
      bubbles up—grinds pelvic
      bones for hours through
      sage, marrow drifts
      in hollows. This is holy
      water. His bloodstone.
      He eats out her
      menstrual blood—
      her womb a body
      of water—they lunar
      eclipse—curve on curve.
      There are two sisters:
      one to bring life,
      one to bring the living
      closer to the other—
      hands in her lap,
      the scroll she holds
      reads: who have you spent
      your entire life loving?



At Night, Temperance Works as a Dominatrix

      Lifting black gauze, she pours
      a thick liquid from one receptacle
      into another.

      On her bed a man lays palms
      open, asking how do you collect
      yr blood?

      She places her hands between
      each thigh, lights a candle

      His pubic hair is matted
      like white gauze, smells of
      crushed ginger.

      She sucks rain from his cock
      —his soul against a feather,
      determines it's not heavy

      enough to be fed
      to the eater. He wakes alone
      the next morning, his back

      rough from ropes. Lilies
      spread across the bed—petals
      of who he will become.



Death Rides a Pale Horse

      He measures his life by expiration
      Dates / Milk in the fridge has two
      Weeks til death / bananas grow
      black as the inside of a coffin

      Outside Death & Co / he digs
      His foot into a guy's rib / rotting
      peaches glaze out onto sidewalk
      / Says / some people do what they

      want / His feet break blood
      wounds merge wounds make love
      wounds permeate wounds / bleed
      into wounds shitting pus

      Jabs a knife down skin through
      the guy's belly like subways passing
      each other in the night / The Holy
      Ghost was never in that hole




The most erotic thing I can think of is lifting a paralytic K by the armpits into Henry’s moist lap. They are both thrilled, having been tantalized by this exact moment for centuries. Of course, this is after I have successfully amputated the last of K’s spindly legs. We have been doing this periodically. They keep coming back. But the incisions look good, she seems comfortable. I think the knobby stumps have taken & it’s good--the fresh bandages, her cozy hand-sewn onesy. I even like the delicate spaghetti straps that fold over her shoulders. I really want to like oranges. I think we can encode the thing a bit deeper. There are two torches left in her remaining limbs. She is the one who points the way. This isn’t even coded, I just don’t want to drop the name.



Late-night bus

I’m on the late-night bus. Four nights each week must I brave it, and never does it get any easier. Fat tuba doods stewed off their womping tits – tonight a glazed one in the back slouched and pissing long streams of hot gold urine from his scratched metal organ. Rivulets of liquid waste slide down the floor towards the driver, but driver’s gas-masked and hazard-suited per standard and so won’t give two shits. Speedily I lift my feet and brace them against the seatback in front of me. Tonight also, a pack of carp dandies straight from the foul underground clubs around Cavern and 5th…drug-lit, stroking strangers, tweaking spasmodically across the aisles. I hug into myself and stare only at my reflection in the black window. A serpentine couple starts fornicating behind me, and I suction-cup my ears to drown out their repulsive orgasmic chants.

Jesus tentacle, it only gets worse: tuba doods sandwich a millioculus between their corpulent backsides, and he begins retaliatory eye-flinging. He’s scooping filmy globules from out his thousand body pockets and chucking them pell-mell about this Hell on Wheels. I might implode from the anxiety. Deftly, with my suckers, I sketch a web of silk stratagem around me, praying it lasts until I arrive at my stop. Damn this bus. Damn this bus. If only I had the dough for a hover-sub.