spork press . oeuvring
archive of printed pieces
archive of online stuff after 5.7.11
online stuff before 5.7.11 (poetry) (fiction)
nothing to see here
audio / podcast
submit to spork
FB   ///   TWIT

3 Poems || Jeff Alessandrelli

“I love berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black berries, anything with an ‘errie’ in it!”—Jordin Sparks  


Thrillberries are poisonous.


Gaudy linguistic


allure could tell you that


but like the shy, buxom brunette


that seems too good to be true


and then, in the end, is


humans often lust and crave


after thrill-


berries anyway.


This book is not to be doubted


reads one of the first sentences in The Koran


and yet depending on the translator,


the translation,


even that beginning is


rich with doubt.


Within life’s bearded tidal




of language, of lordliness—


inevitably rusts,




What’s beautiful and true


rarely rhymes in time




Hickory dickory dock.


Loose lips sink


long lecherous limber




Thrill kills


kill kill kill.




August 28th


Urban alchemy teaches us

that, depending on one’s addictions,


gold reveals itself within many guises,

nearly all of them makeable, instantly ready for purchase.


That there are more African-American males in jail today

than there were slaves in the antebellum American South,


that over 66% of them are incarcerated for the selling of narcotics,

teaches us that midnight in a perfect world


is going to bed late and sleeping poorly,

waking up still tired.


For months on end it’s been evening

all day long;


an entire lifetime spent

learning how to be yourself


and perpetually failing

in ways not even your own.


Nightmares are imaginary but often

steeped in what was once real.


Gold’s gaudy, garish, especially

in the summer,


portentous weight of the heat’s dripping

licking sun.


The hard bright mist of hip-hop sprays

out a million passenger side windows this evening.


On tiptoe, in packs, each car slowly sidles by.



Poem against Adulthood 


Raping a slave is easy,

too easy. My job

sucks; yours is worse.

I’m unemployed

in the same manner as

the sun at night:

grand, idealized notions of what

might have been

if not for such sudden darkness.

I miss recess,

the golden miles between ignorance and regret,

between cargo shorts and collared shirts,

getting up at 6 because you want to




getting up at 6 because—something.

Age’s error is identifiable

not by number

but by sound, sight:

wrangled cracking of an oak

tree’s branches, perpetual,

close, distant,

the moon visibly alive

only at the very beginning

and end of our lives.

Dirt, dirt;

dying, I assume, hurts.

I’ll never know.

Food stamp kid

in a food stamp land,

I’m a bicycle accident waiting to happen.

Forever young,

may you stay


it’s the sick jokes that stick.

Leaves lisping

in the summer breeze,

the world’s beauty is unjust.

Grow up.



Jeff Alessandrelli is the author of the recently published full-length collection THIS LAST TIME WILL BE THE FIRST. Other work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Gulf Coast and Boston Review, among others. The name of Jeff’s dog is Beckett Long Snout. The name of Jeff’s chapbook press is Dikembe Press.