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UNTITLED POEMS pt. 1 || Colin Winnette

The tour went well because we played major cities 
and everyone in a major city loves a good show 
and we put on a good show because we are very honest. 
We are having second thoughts about all of this we announced 
and we sold a handful of t-shirts and one hundred DVDs of live performances 
in other major cities, so we came up with an idea for our final night 
on the road. One of us would fire a loaded gun at the other’s chest 
and we would then know if we were meant to be brutally honest performers 
or if we had wound up here by twists of fate and weakness 
of will. You loaded the gun and I called the promoter 
and we filled an amphitheater in the most major city 
and I prepared myself for the shot and you fired 
and nothing happened until you started screaming 
it’s fake it’s fake it’s all fake we faked it it was all fake all along
and everyone cheered and rioted and took to the streets
with us on our backs, carried by the crowd, floating above them
until they threw us through the plate glass window of a furniture store
and we landed on a couch and the crowd gutted the store
and flooded the streets while we sank into the cushions
and were carried along the streets, which were getting darker
and darker because the bulbs in the street lamps kept popping
like champagne corks and we were silent and still
because we did not know what to make of it,
all of this brutal support.

You were punching hearts out of the sky like a carnival game.
You spent every dollar you had, every cent, and you hit some,
but you missed even more. That was frustrating, seeing the small
percentage of what you’d accomplished, a few holes here and there
where hearts should be, punched out of a horizon of hearts, more
than anyone could really know what to do with. You set out
on an epic quest, in search of wild dogs that could help you, or bears,
something with sharp teeth and claws. You found a clutch of rabbits,
young rabbits, but they had sharp teeth and looked hungry, so
you started throwing hungry rabbits at the sky, and they sank
their teeth into the horizon of hearts there and blood poured out
like a row of tiny fountains, showering all the rooftops and all the people
in the town below. What have you done? they demanded.
You’ve made a mess. They had torches, like you were a monster.
They had handguns and pitchforks and angry dispositions.
They had come to bring you out. To get you gone. They fired
their handguns into the air, warning shot after warning shot
and the rabbits fell like snow in Vermont and you begged
for them to leave you be, to let you alone, and they yelled
this is no place for you to have done what you’ve done,
take your blood and get gone; gather every last drop.


You were in a forest and one of the trees sprung a leak.
A branch broke or a bit of bark cracked, and blood poured
from the wound and started soaking into the moss at your feet.
You tried to walk it off, to ignore it, let it resolve itself
but the forest filled and filled and you were lifted from the earth
by a small wave of dark blood. It tilted you, placed you
on your back and carried your through the trees and over
a bunch of small hills, along with a few sheep
and these odd-looking fish,
and these odd-looking birds,
and these odd-looking clouds in the sky,
none of which could you get a very good look at
because you were up and down and in and out of what carried you,
a small wave of dark blood that you were swallowing
and bleeding from your eyes and ears and mouth as you tried to sing
some song I used to sing to you, when you were very little
and doing fine.
Colin Winnette put out a book of fiction with Spork Press, but that doesn’t mean they’ll like his poetry. He gets that. He lives in San Francisco.