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Adam Stutz :: Four poems


The neural duct:          iron work

discharged as an                      alignment issue

a service questionnaire            title

                                    “on income failure”:

an indictment party

broadcast for a stairwell          in a journal drop

                                    the combo  

            of eroticism     tied to lactic acid

breakdown—              a protein synthesis

            orchestra          a community table

paranoid          basketful         of artifice

construction    & king             beat makers

break   down guilt/love

aspersions cast             restive/riotous

in a dogmatic              engine subtle like

villainy in bridges        just spanning gaps

              These brick lungs        become

bad news         oxygen—

can’t breathe   a building

              but the building can breathe you


Coming back air-tight

                        finger diction

the poor grammar        of covering the face

the non-reflective        mirror of palms

                        the crawl space            for the tongue

                        smuggling        malapropisms             

                        decorating the page

                        w/ a few shed hairs

                        the obligation  is the weight

routine             but some comforts     

            wish to remain unbroken & mellow

& into the faux-Persian           runner beneath the feet

                         some starry-eyed                    

blur connection                       in the aftermath

                                         of a yawn                   

                                    opens a door   

                                    beacon of oxygen                   

deprivation wherein    floored now means                           

                                    lying down


                        it starts w/ the skin crawling

capture-the-word        the last ten

minutes remaining       in Tuesday’s speech—

the burning pasture— news wears

needles w/ high fashion         

                                    & barricades

                                    are woven      

                                    into the onset of sleep         
paint on a mask of water

                                    snuffing daytime’s

long strings                  still playing the lips

when all the notes       go slack          

               The ambient noise

drips down the walks in shades of purple

bruises this script

                small traumas rolled out

                        unsuspecting skin—

the fruit           is still edible you know


Where does the weight in ashes come from?

It is found       sifting


                        the remainder of songs sung

                        distances traveled

containers & salutations

                        letters lineage & farewells

Do not linger   on the phone

                                 last inkling of loneliness

live on             as the memory

of a steadfast tower

an unshakeable            resolve

a determination:                      miles driven

                                    snows fallen

                                    summers sweat

                                    springs wept

                                                & the fall

                                                the leaving

the algae painted

                                        edges   of a lake

                                                always looming

like a cagey shadow    by the cottage in the


& the pitch streets                  

                                    that rise into

unknowable futures

the change

the stoicism                             of tragedies

memories                     laced in the chagrin                

                                    of dead grass

he grooves of hands &           the grooves of hands &

                                    the grooves of hands

the undone sentences

                        of long distance

                        the statuary of time    

                        in the weight of ashes

the weight       of ashes

                        ashes &            the stains of hopes

                        the distance of those

stains in us       the distance of stillness

                        & the absence in the receiver

the weight in ashes

The story we carry 

                        forward in blood & bones

in murmurs tones         in the ashes

                                     we become

Adam Stutz is the co-curator of the Non-Standard Lit Reading Series with Mark Wallace. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Equalizer: Second Series, White Stag, The Cultural Society, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, Prelude, Be About It, Deluge and The Pinch. He is the author of the chapbook Transcript (Cooper Dillon Books, 2017) and The Scales (White Stag Publishing, 2018). He currently resides in San Diego, CA.

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