“Burning Oneself Out” by Adrienne Rich



We can look into the stove tonight
as into a mirror, yes,

the serrated log, the yellow-blue gaseous core

the crimson-flittered grey ash, yes.
I know inside my eyelids
and underneath my skin

Time takes hold of us like a draft
upward, drawing at the heats
in the belly, in the brain

You told me of setting your hand
into the print of a long-dead Indian
and for a moment, I knew that hand,

that print, that rock,
the sun producing powerful dreams
A word can do this

or, as tonight, the mirror of the fire
of my mind, burning as if it could go on
burning itself, burning down

feeding on everything
till there is nothing in life
that has not fed that fire

Adrienne Rich

“Mock, Paper, Scissors” by L. K. Thayer

photo by Sandra Carlson

L. K. Thayer

I defy you to intimidate me
with your blankness
your off-whiteness
cold and aloof
lying there, laughing
waiting for me to fill you up
making me do all the work

you are a slutty virgin
a white mirage of
pretentious purity
I want to make you bleed
with my pen and pencil set
with no regrets

I detest your stare down
only I am left blinking
eyes watering
as you shred me
so thin and frail and easy
to destroy, crumple you up
and toss you to the fire

but you are

the stronger arm

the one who taunts me
who begs to be conquered
I will bloody you
til my bones weep
carve out my insides

like a


L. K. Thayer

All Rights Reserved

© 2009

Fire Escape

Photo by VC Ferry

Photo by VC Ferry

sometimes I trip over
the ghost of you
as I pass by an
old haunt

your essence
overcomes me
hiding from the truth
draped in your passive
and button down shirt

I sold your ghost
on ebay
tore up our
Kodak moments
and fed them
to the hungry fire

but it’s the fire
I can’t put out
that douses

your arms
folded now
where I
to be

L. K. Thayer

All Rights Reserved

© 2009