Home  •   About Us  •   Catalogue  •   Author Gallery   •   Contact  •   News  •   Resources

Rose Hunter


When swordfish speak
reminds me what you said
when I told you how
I washed up in the rooms
with the garden chairs, yeah
you might not want to lead with that – 

you were joking, and not –
swordfish speak 

at a dinner party
with grandfather clock
creaky floorboards
velour tuxes and elbows
jousting the mahogany silence

the bump in the night
the dropped cymbal
swordfish slaughter
a shower-curtained frenzy
post-traumatic, rageaholic

when on the hook
torpedo the ocean floor 

and swordfish, can you believe it –
lose all their teeth! In my dream
climbing the watchtower
when I reach the top, sober –
now how do I plunge down; where
is my swordfish courage? 


* Previously published in Willows Wept Review Issue 10, Winter 2011 and in the book A Foal Poem (2011).


You As Teeth  

Ghost dog, barrel ribs and belly
some worm, some parasite
eating her and you said, tourists
they like to get upset about it 

and I nodded because we
understood: this is what's 

so great about us: we know
the brutal nature of how it goes  
because every day do you understand
we walk past one corpse or another. 

The rooster? He's in a doorway
and thin as the dog. Two weeks
it took him to get from the garden chairs
to there and part pelican; crane says last
she saw him on a gurney and he's gone since
and it was you who told me, the drunks
they take them to the river.

Amaranth and dust-coated barbacoa
I watch her eat and see your teeth
gutter yellow upturned party
some shindig and no one cared
what it would be like after; we never
clean up it's true but still, how
did they get like this? No one knows
and it's not interesting to anyone else.

Last time I saw you carrying
a block of ice, but I leeched 
those thirty seconds already, dry. 


* Previously published in DIAGRAM 12.2, 2012 and in the book You As Poems (2012).




peanuts        to toss away the shells then

into the bank but couldn’t because

you didn’t have shoes you said i will buy flip flops and

i am doing that for you

that you can temper        astonishing      the flip flops

black or blue and marshmallows in the aisle

where you talked a woman out of living here

you and your it’s mexico baby

the wild frontier     here in mega this woman

did not know her dreams were that silly    maybe

lion maybe        i would have objected but she was

hanging off you like hot chicle

and how you make fun                      a picture of this and a picture of

i did not think maybe        i would never see this mega again but now i’m glad

to have recorded an orange pelican and silver silver

that you are the lion who thinks he’s a turtle

not the first case of mistaken identity for instance

i doubt you would recognize me as the tejón and i regret

i never saw that other tejón         opening your refrigerator

licking eggs         and sugar because that’s what they do

lick things

look a mega’s a big deal

on the way to a crane’s hotel

end of the line in powder blue and crumbling you share her history

the drugs they’ve got now

not even thought of then     to hear him talk

mesozoic    and true

we had to go past the dinosaurs

but the crane said she did not want peanuts because she just brushed her teeth 


* Previously published in Press 1, Vol 5, No.3 Jan–April 2012 and is part of the book [four paths], forthcoming from Texture Press, 2013.

Texture Press
1108 Westbrooke Terrace, Norman, OK 73072