Poems: Steve Subrizi

Steve Subrizi 2015, or: September 1st, My Merriest Allston Christmas Ever

The final but most crucial
of the very select few items
that I packed for my
September 1st move
from Somerville to Brighton

was a plastic takeout container
filled with dirt. Needless
to say, it was very specific dirt.

The year prior, on Labor Day—
I think it was Labor Day. At least,
for most of us, it had been a kind
of Labor Day—I invited my friends,

who were drunk and eating gross
flavored cookies, to write on tiny
ripped slices of paper

stuff they had attempted
but failed
to attain or accomplish.

I think I may have promised
not to read them, but obviously
I read every last one right there. Next,

I placed them all at the bottom
of a nice red heart-studded planter,
covered the shreds of our dreams
with fresh soil, and planted
some rosemary.

It grew for a while, but then
I got dumped and depressed
and it dried out. However,

if I must contribute filth
to the dust of planet Earth,
let it be only this filth.

If I need to apologize to anybody,
let this be my only apology:

I really am sorry
that you stepped in that crap
which slid off the back
of what I have tried to become.

Two Hospitals

after Humanly by Stevie Edwards

I got shot to sleep in a Haverhill emergency room,
and then finally, an ambulance arrived, like a limo,
and whisked me away to a psychiatric ward.

I took a look at some slides I felt I needed:

an agua fresca made with violet limonium;
coloring prints of birds and holy women;

nine petals pressed between a jay and Mary;

a stranger who took the name Loretta Lynn;

a stranger who knows how to smile in uniform;

the samples of my being, strewn across sharp carpet.

My every terrible place has been some sort of bank—
but if you ever need my blood, I am still in your thrall.


My Southern Connecticut parents complained that on their walk, flyers for a yard sale led them up a long windy street and up a long hillside driveway to a man with nothing but tables full of rocks.

I assume it was the man’s rock collection and that he was clearing space for a new hobby. Some of his rocks were probably geodes.

I have to wonder about lost cat and lost dog flyers. How long can you hold the face of a strange animal in your mind?

My parents stood and talked to their neighbor for a while but did not buy any rocks.

A guy Kickstartered his plan to make a potato salad and grossed $50,000, and Somerville folk legend Dan Blakeslee is thrilled to announce that he can afford to finish his sixth album.

In Davis Square, I saw a flyer for a benefit being held by the Massachusetts Pirate Party.

My friend set up an account on OKCupid with an avatar of a snake, no profile text except I am a wounded vampire, and she still got several pictures of strange male gonads.

There should be a game like Clue, but the card in the envelope only says, I love you or I will never love you, and if you guess incorrectly then you get ejected from the game.

The only pirate ship that has ever been recovered is now a tourist attraction on Cape Cod.

I once got paid for a hospital study. I answered questions on how depressed I felt before and after I lay on a cot in a dark room with magnets above my head for half an hour.

I can’t tell if this Pirate Party is serious, but actual real-life pirates attack all the time.

Some online job listings I have contemplated: Intern, Sewing Club; Copy Writer, Adult Publication; Stowaway on an Historical Voyage!; Administrative Assistant, Cemetery.

A new thinkpiece posits my generation opted out of steady jobs and nice places to live.

Imagine the man’s face as my parents scale his hill, their faces as they find only rocks, the ensuing niceties and sales pitch over yowling pets and the crash of the nearby beach.

I’ll never know if it was the magnets or the lying down in cool sterile darkness without any need to do or say a thing for a whole half hour, but that study was a win-win.

How many pirates do you think die in the line of duty per year, here in the 21st century?
Steve Subrizi is a poet and singer-songwriter from New England. He sometimes co-hosts the Boston Poetry Slam at Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in such places as NAILED, Muzzle, PANK, and Apt. His second e-chapbook, More Room in Hell, was recently published by FreezeRay, and he just recorded his second studio album, Evil Beds; both are scary movie–themed. For further reading and listening, please visit www.stevesubrizi.com.

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