Get Thee to the Big City!
I’m garden hungry these days. They told me I just needed a bar so I tried that but I have
a vision of a greenhouse I can’t shake. No, I don’t know about the separatists. And by
that, I mean I truly don’t know. All I know is that sometimes I wear a baseball cap and a
muscle tee when walking down the street and all the people stare and I think something
precious in me gets overexposed and burnt. I dream about a place with different dirt. A
landscape energetic and vast. Dream of a place where I’m not watched instead of a
place where I’m watched in the right way.
shuttle through the same yellow
dusk for four hours 30,000
feet up until night
finally outruns you
goes dark dark on the door
now you understand most of those boys
cruelty and earnestness playing
themselves out of ideas
someone had once told us
first there was light
then a disassociated desire for the light
and no more bodies
The Edge of the Women
At the edge of the women
Some pressure came creeping
and it stayed in my hair
and my joints
but I couldn’t go back.
I had something else to do --
At the edge I watched others sit
before me in a circle
and I felt the pressure
now, in my temples
and I tired of standing.
We all worked, cross-legged,
on our puzzles (mine was
a rubix cube made of lilac
colored cake). I didn’t know
the cause. Just that being in the center
had made me a fisher
throwing a tiny, gold hook out
and over again and again.
I kept watch with and against
the pressure at the edge.
The sky burned and was heavy. Somehow,
the pressure hurt more the farther
from the center. The women
had their womanness.
I had something else.
I had cake,
a puzzle of it.
Duty left ambiguous, but having to do with the pressure.
I wondered why everyone at the edge
seemed to work so diligently on their puzzles.
I wanted to save the cake for later,
when I would sink into a salt bath
and consume each morsel,
cube by cube,
complexity by sweetness,
that lonely feeling
Laura Houlberg is a multi-medium artist from Portland, Oregon, working primarily in video production, poetry, and collage. Their work is interested in alternative (and often strange) intimacies, the rare sweet-spots of gender, and using surrealism and community to Get at the Thing. She is a poetry editor and interviewer of artists for 1001 Literary Journal. Laura is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College, as well as the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s Poetry Certificate Program — a year long workshop and book arts program which culminated in their chapbook, Cautious Delicious.