POEMS: Michael Lambert

from All Intensive Purposes




Let’s take pictures of our faces until we die.
Glitterdick thus returns to the fondue, my breasts.
Steve Buscemi’s recalcitrant snaggleteeth undress. I will
Never pronounce “bagel” like a Californian.

Bagel. Bagel. Bagel. Bagel.            See?
Always comes out corn-fed dairyland, slightly nasal.
Slightly apologetic and overtly polite. On a flight
From JFK to Milwaukee, for example, one can immediately pinpoint

Those that are on their way out from in.
The New Yorkers are well-dressed, literate folks.
While Margie, shouting across the aisle about the
Wonders of air travel, is most likely not.

We cannot escape these pints of blood, Llewellyn—
Emphysemic ice floes beating endlessly against themselves.






Emphysemic ice floes beating endlessly against themselves.
Theft implies ownership, the Jesus freak pontificates,
Thus, licking frosted fingers, steals the baby cakes.
Fire-sky tumbling crown. Epileptic pioneers

Looking svelte in murmuration. Three palomino mares
Gallop across the fruited plain. America! Amer
Ica!       Lend me thine filly ears. Lend me thine
Drone strikes of unarmed civilians.

The prude shrugs off complementary breakfast,
Digging through the garbage for a safe place to drink
Orange juice in my underpants. The truth is relentless. The truth is
A big goofy liar, Llewellyn. My father pitching handfuls of dog shit

At the neighbor’s pristine west-facing façade.
Look what happens when you make a living.






Look what happens when you make a living.
Waxing nostalgic for the sun-swallowed Gaia.
Goodbye salt baths. Goodbye bowl-cuts.
Goodbye five billion pounds of carpet

Annually placed in North American landfills.
Gravity, I love you. But, you’re bringing me down.
When I say:       pastoral
What I really mean is:                 paper or plastic?

Merrily! Merrily! Merrily! Merrily! Life is but a
Kick drum and snare. Recall the poplar trees waving in the northerlies.
See the _______. See the global banking system masturbating furiously.
Violence is the most common interaction between all species.

Hiawatha’s single tear howling in the horseback dream mutation.
Llewellyn slowly rises from his easy chair, pupils squared into the aperture—




Michael Lambert was born in Iowa in 1988 and raised in Wisconsin. He is
author of Circumnavigation, (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), loosely based on
self-propelled travel in North America. The recipient of a 2015 residency
at the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, recent work has appeared in
Driftless Review, Midwestern Gothic, and theNewerYork. He currently resides in Tuscaloosa, attends the University of Alabama’s M.F.A. program in creative writing, and serves as assistant editor for the Black Warrior Review.

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