By Nick Alti


Perhaps in the depths of the gloom, a moment is true. This kiss is goodnight,
this is no kiss at all. This is a flask of moonshine I tongue.
Reference something profound
I’m searching for the lost elixir of Moe’s Tavern. We are all of us
yellow cartoon idiots. I love you too.
You didn’t say that? Are you sure?
I thought I heard you say you love me. You were just coughing up a chicken nugget?

I’ve walked around town a cadaver, you could say I’ve cadavered around.
My body is a temple
in the sense people are shooting up churches now.
Pray, lest ye come down. Is that Dostoevsky? Dave Chapelle?
The chapel bell rings: omission of sound. The sound is omitted:
the chapel torn down.
Did you hear there’s a sale on dead students
at the sporting goods store? Half-off
on a box
of two hundred rounds.

Hell is honest, fire’s not blue. I mean blood. There’s no corpuscles in inferno.
Thy sweet lord, thy long absent in furlough, your children in absentia absconding
toward wickedness.
Am I supposed to help someone? Okay, I got this: remember,
good little ones practice their cataclysms
while soon-to-be ghouls go fishing for ghosts. They’ve begun speaking
at air. They seem to see something,
though nothing is there.
Ralph Ellison? My third psychiatrist?
I hear my name screamed when nobody’s near.

This is a tangent about sapience: I’m a Weiss man. I’m a ddrunk fuck.
Here’s a vague line about violence: ~. Here’s a diamond. Merry me. I’m not gonna die
just carry me to the toilet. I can mend myself. Yes I’m sure! I’ve done this before!
Here’s a direct line about violence: - - - - - cut here (nape of neck) until - - - - - here (heart).
I’m vaguely erotic: I can ejaculate as early as you want, baby. Hopefully very early?
Here’s a nice simple straight line:------///-__--//--]-///-]]-[[---___|---\ shit, wait a minute

I want to go back & become the boy who didn’t make it out of brain surgery.
I want to grow up & become the girl who puts a salamander in her pussy.
If it isn’t better than love
it’ll be a decent substitution. I can barely understand
how my legs work. It’s usually a miracle I can even stay on the road.
Amphibians are inherently lubricious,
right? That’s lucky. The stars are all lightning. I mean aligning.
The lighting is lightning the light.
The black marigold is synthetic
but still makes me cry.

I’m locked in a cage with the doors blown wide open!
I’ve been out of jail for a couple of years somehow! God damn I’m high !
And scared I’ll get hooked again! Jeepers! I fell out too far in a van once
and we used to call the blue pills Scooby Snacks! Yet even on my best days,
I know there is no mask to remove from the monster before me.
It is there. It is true. There’s no reason for it to deceive. It is a monster.
It will likely kill me. I wish it wouldn’t.



The Christian community here dislikes me
because I held a sign saying “Stop censoring
Japanese porn” next to a street preacher’s
admittedly more ornate sign
informing us all “Homosexuals
Are Sent To Hell,” which, as far as rhetoric is concerned,
is a relatively polite way
of propagating eternal damnation.
Once, when someone wanted to say grace before taking a sip
at a fucking whiskey bar,
& asked me if I “knew how”
I bowed my head & quoted some of the more colorful lines from 120 Days of Sodom
to prove them right or wrong,
whichever meant I’d not be asked again
if I knew how to be thankful
for the liquor I’ve afforded myself.
If I could fit “Make America
Not Exploitative Imperialistic Terrorists For Once” on a hat
I would, but I’ll have to settle for “Make Xanax
Xanax Again” because I don’t want more
unintended overdoses. Would you rather be a dead junkie
or sober? I don’t know either. Where’s that fucking holy scroll?
Is relevance still antagonistic to theology?
Thank you for bringing this
steaming bowl of writhing insects
to the cookout, Nick, but you’re frightening
literally everyone.

Nick Alti often mopes and sometimes writes, often lazes and sometimes thinks. He’s a first year of the MFA program at The University of Alabama who hails from Michigan. He is lonely in a jovial way, and does not want a puppy, nor a kitten, nor other people to talk to him about how their puppy/kitten cured their non-jovial loneliness.

© 2019