Poems: Jenn Gidman


Part I: Trickle
Gravity and fate
Plot to desecrate, create
A chance sanguine mess.

Part II: Gush
Gleaning meaning from
The crimson Rorschach I left
On the diner stool.

Part III: Hemorrhage
The day confiscates
And clots my vitality,
So: I wait for night.

  1. Herod’s HQ (For Tamir)

Welcome to Cleveland, America’s Bethlehem,
where gold has turned to

Not Camus nor Coventry Carol,
Neither Reni nor a

Can corral all these tears from Buckeyes
Crashing onto blood-soaked

No sleep for Samaria
Amid moans from Rachel’s Ramah
You called it, Jeremiah.

What happened to our wise men?
When did they flee the massacre?
Why did we let them go?

How can we say the Epiphany’s on its way
When Matthew’s called a liar—
Does even Jesus know?

If he does, I’m sure he wept
as truth was swept
down Hell’s dark hole.


In lieu of flowers, please send:
That belated eulogy to Pangaea, meant to mend all rifts after the
Great Divide.

That thank you card neglected on the mantle, burrowed deep within layers, cloaked by your crust and shrouding your core—
Deprived of its Forever stamp until Forever rumbled and ruptured and

Now all you’ve got are seismic sorrows and sympathies instead of a sorry, tectonic condolences instead of contrition.

Now you’re handed a Mad Libs obituary.

Now any noun/verb/gerund/expletive will

____ decided to _____ because she just couldn’t go _____ because you’re a %$*&#.

Inhale instead of
Implode instead of
Exhume instead of
Resume, can you please
Explain, if you have the time and the inclination, that reason why
Everything supposedly happens.

Don’t blame the fission, or the friction, or your own

You put Pangaea on a pedestal, didn’t you.
One that couldn’t bear her faults, her plus-size personality.

You were an inveterate invertebrate, thought her a swirling eddy to draw your detritus to the surface.

You, being an incompetent incontinent cuntinent, thought she’d take atoll with suffocating circles because:

Ur so dumb.

She was:
Just a country,
Just an island,
Just a petrichor-filled plot choked with damp weeds and continental drift-wood and baggage lost in the wreckage you promised to salvage.

She was the New World, waiting to be discovered, maybe even plundered!

Her Appalachians, ready to line up perfectly with your Caledonides.

You could have wrested permission to be her Facebook Legacy Curator, to

Link your Disney FastPass with hers on the ride to Purgatory, to

Add 15 new Dante-derived words to the Scrabble dictionary, come up with Alighieri allegories, to

Bask in every “Hallelujah” cover ever made (book-ended by Cohen and Wainwright), to

Adorn her coffin with mini-stickers of Pokémon Koffins, to

Bellow “Everybody Hearse” at her memorial service to an instrumental-REM karaoke CD, to

Hand out her HBO Go password to girls you meet at the watering-eyes hole, to

Find out why everything happens for a reason.

There’s no “UR” in “URN,” oh wait—yes. There is.

UR so dumb.

But there. You’ve got your new luggage, light as a Brittany cake, shiny as a glistening hors-d’oeuvre that whets your palate before a raunchy repast.

It’s straight off to the Left Coast now, via Pannotia, Rodinia, Columbia/Nuna…

You say Laurasia, I say Gondwana, let’s call the whole thing off!

These stout-shouldered pallbearers seek more heft than that.
Wake up wake up wake up wake up, do your
Best Daisy, take off with
That Tom, and…

Fuck it—send nightshade.

  1. SLUR ‘OH, SIS’

Sirhan did snuff Bobby K.
Cyrano did surrogate-slay.
Cirrhosis did slaughter her
Liver, can’t let her
Live her
Life. Er—
Top me off, striper.

Yea, hypocrites huffing in hospice.
Nay, Hippocrates jerking off jaundice.
Pray, Radegast, please break me of
Bibesy, cruel
Crises, hooch
High seas,
Hey: Mix mine with Hi-C.

An organ to pipe mourning Mahler.
An organ to shanghai stiff scholars.
An organ so shriveled and
Shrunken, did kill my
High dudgeon,
I’ll take mine with onions.

A mantle  too hot 

                to handle, a


                to turn her tides—


Taunting Hera's leeward side. 

Blow, baby, blow! No 


Stroke of lunar luck needed to

Get that magma flowing.


Making up for low albedo with that high 


                Tumescence pulsing headlong into 


Longing for sweet syzygy with the object of your crust-



                To flood your corpus cavernosa,

     To fill her corporal caverns, 

                To feign impact,

                To achieve base-relief in an hourlong seismic quiver as you cry out:

Ave Maria!

Ave Maria!

       My clever, tranquil, serene serpent! 

       My fecund 


                                                              Drill, baby, drill! 

And then:


An obsidian eruption:

All radiance concealed by chimerical cosmic cumbra, 

A friar's lantern shedding light on

A spent awareness—no release, 

                                  no refractory, just unceasing cycles, the 


                                       revelation that eclipses 

All else:

Pliny was right.


Jenn Gidman is a freelance writer/editor/grammar obsessor from New York and past Queen Mob’s Tea House contributor who runs the @CommaSuture Twitter feed and enjambs more than she iambs. She’s also still trying to figure out the James Franco–Frank Bidart connection.

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