archives spring 2009



you are the rain

a girl at school
smells like purple
bubble gum,
like she took off
all her clothes
after being stuck
outside during
a thunderstorm
& if I could tell
her why her arms
are boss, why her
neck is boss, why
her hips are boss,
I imagine she would
bandage me softly
like winter.


you are a pharmacy

you have a hundred secret names & I am the world’s worst shoplifter.
you know what I mean? it’s like it’s 1992 & we’re so happy for cigarettes
& de la soul & lightning bugs & shit like that. sometimes I wish you knew
someone exactly like me who wasn’t so obsessed with your knuckles.
they make me hurt like alligator teeth. I want you to be all fists & bruises like
tiny sparrows on my face. I want you to be a handgun muzzled into my gut.


you are ohio

so I had this dream we
were a map of the midwest.
you were ohio & I was
michigan & I was all over
you & it was so fucking hot
your spine was on fire all
the way down to cincinnati,
& god damn if that ain’t
the most depressing thing
because I knew I’d wake
up wishing I was kentucky
& your ankles were a river
wrapped around my throat,
but it don’t matter either way
because motherfuck if you aren’t
always telling me the same thing—
it’s not happening, uh-uh,
not in this time zone, brother,
or any other place.


you are zooey deschanel

inside my chest is a coalmine. you have the raddest
eyes I’ve ever seen & you hair smells like rabbits.
I want to call you on the telephone & tell you a secret
about your shins. I wanna call you shakedown. I wanna
call you shotgun. do you want to make a movie?
I got this camera, see, & a backyard like forever,
& when it snows it’s like the whole world is one
giant pickup line. my body in a wooden box
& you just like holes for breathing. if I’m lying
my neck is a bird neck. the truth is skin & skin.
your yellow dress. a stick of dynamite between my teeth.


you are a boombox

hey, I wanna dance,
but I don’t want you to watch

              —Paul, All the Real Girls

I can be cool as motown & make my heart
stop beating. you say bullshit. I say try me
like a radio, like a Walkman duct-taped
to your inner thigh. I’m as serious as
a preacher. like my obit says: bless the city
of his broken jaw, he would’ve made
a more respectable skull fracture,
on a skateboard,
on your driveway,
on the front porch of your lap.
you know, it’s like lil wayne says,
I gotta sweet tooth. it means I’ll give you
a verse to every chorus of your fingernails.
ain’t that like gospel? what I mean is
your legs are bona fide & your tongue
is the bass rattling the windows of my ears.  bug


Nate Slawson is the editor of the online magazine dear camera and of Cinematheque Press. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, H_NGM_N, TYPO, Line4: The Journal of the New American Epigram, Tammy, and New Pony: A Horse Less Anthology (horse less press). He lives in Chicago.