h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s

 

 

.........
STEPHANIE GOEHRING



.............
UNTITLED


   

You don't wake up in a field. You aren't naked.
Nothing you can see is bleeding.
 
If there are headlights, they don't touch you.
You will say nothing to no one

but to yourself say maybe.
Maybe this isn't where it begins,

which is the middle, because
in the beginning everyone wakes

naked in a field, holding a phone
they can't remember how to use, a picture of someone

they look just like, a bloody handkerchief,
or a slip of paper with some inscrutable message:

I put it in my bathroom so I wouldn't lose it,
or, I'll call because I don't know what she looks like,

or, I meant to get a picture of everyone when they were here.
You aren't naked. This isn't a field.

What is in your hands
doesn't need to be deciphered

but you do need to purchase it.







...........
IT


   

The smell of blood in its absence, the taste,
the taste of glass in its absence, your carotid
ringing fast its tiny bell. The smell of blood:
in its absence, the smell of bloodshot skin, smell
of slap slapped black against a tongue lashed not
enough. Enough. Enough in its absence to talk to
the neighbor's dog, your carotid wringing out its bloody towels.
The smell of bleach in its absence, fire in its absence:
beached whales. A twinless shadow in the wrong light, the sun
a ship hulled by the sea. The blood smell of daybreak
when you should be shaped like a tree.
In its absence, a pine shaped like a woman.
The taste of a glass you will break accidentally.
A branch in its absence, a red push broom.
The smell of air before it escapes a balloon
twisted into a blue dog with a yellow leash.
The smell of air after it escapes a balloon
never twisted into anything. The smell of a glass
eye you palm nervously. In its absence,
a scrap of latex caught in a rubber tree.






...........
UNTITLED
   

You can't remember anything he said
but you know it was honest,
a photograph from before you were born.
You shouldn't have been in that place

but you know it was honest,
the mistake. Your home –
you shouldn't have been in that place
alone, a cave swallow in the snow.

The mistake. Your home.
Too many rooms.
Alone. A cave. Swallow. In the snow
there's just no such thing as

too many rooms.
You think about building an igloo.
There's just no such thing as
a photograph of you.

You think about building an igloo
paying for cigarettes at the pharmacy counter;
a photograph of you
holding a photograph of someone

paying for cigarettes at the pharmacy counter;
a photograph from before you were born.
Holding a photograph of someone,
you can't remember anything he said.






...........
UNTITLED
   

Inside,
you
house
a people
running.
They
escape
no
sounds.
Will
someone?
No one
else is
inside.
They
step
and
so
don't.
You
that
you
can't
believe
sound
everywhere
like
a
house.
The
person
can't
touch,
pretends.
Be
little
to
confuse.
House
your
mouth
a
good
house.






...........
UNTITLED

   

Inside a house, someone says,
"You are like someone
inside a house."
You are a house,
like some people are
running away from something;
they can pretend
to escape but
there are no
sounds like
people.
Everyone is inside. You
aren't inside.
They hear
footsteps
and
so many leaves.
Don't
you?
That was years ago.
You can't
believe
that sound. Someone is
everywhere.
What that looks like:
a gun goes off.
Inside a house, someone says,
"What are you going to do?"
A woman in some state
can't leave that alone. A man
everyone will just forget
shows up with a gun.
It's raining.
The whole neighborhood is
one person.
Try to avoid being touched. Most everyone can't
touch one person. Everyone pretends
to be little kids. They try to
be fireworks. Confuse the house
with your dress. At your feet
a man opens his mouth.
A telephone sounds
good alone
inside a house.






...........
UNTITLED
   

You aren't inside a house but someone says
you are. Or it sounds like it, like someone
says you're inside a house, or it sounds like
you are inside a house, whatever that sounds
like. Some people are drunk or they're kids,
yelling, running away from something only
they can see or pretend to see, pretend to need
to escape from. No one's drunk but it sounds
like it. Maybe you are. There are no kids here,
and no one is drunk. It sounds like someone
tells you people are drunk or should be, kids
screaming or playing a game. Someone will
compare this to a movie, your life, someone
will compare your life to a movie but no one
else can see it. Everyone can see no one is
drunk inside this house you aren't inside
but all they can hear is your unusually loud
footsteps that sound like footsteps on leaves
though it's summer or feels like it and why
would there be so many leaves inside your house?
You don't have a house. You aren't inside.
You were drunk for years but that was years
ago. You were a kid but that was years ago.
You will always be a child, someone's, but who
is running around outside hollering, "You can't
catch me!" and do they believe it to be true?
What does that sound like? Someone is saying
there are leaves everywhere or is showing you
what that looks like. And the some point when
a gun goes off is now. You know you aren't
inside a house but someone says you should be
because what are you going to do with that gun?
Cut to a woman in some state of undress and you
can't ever just leave that alone. Cut to a man
on a telephone and everyone will just forget it
unless he shows up later with a gun. Eventually
it's going to rain. It's raining. It has to. And now
the whole neighborhood is in your swimming pool.
One person can't see on purpose while the others
try to avoid being touched, or most everyone can't
see on purpose as they try to touch the one person
allowed to see, or everyone in the pool pretends
to be a shark or a minnow and not get eaten or else
eat everything. They must be drunk, or little kids,
the way they try to swallow up all they can.
There must be fireworks you confuse for gunshots,
but you're not inside the house that isn't yours
with your dress at your feet, sweeping up the leaves
with your toes. A man we've never seen opens his mouth
to speak into a telephone or it sounds like what
that sounds like: a child as good as drunk alone
inside a house believing that to be true.





 

...........
UNTITLED
   

Believing
sounds
like
a dress
that you
try to
eat,
a pool
they
avoid
while
swimming
and eventually
everyone
can't.
You
are
inside
you
like
leaves
sound.
Believe it.
You
were
inside
your house
like
footsteps.
Someone
tells
someone
maybe.
It sounds
pretend,
something
like
you
inside
or
like
a house.






Bio: Stephanie Goehring is co-author, with Jeff Griffin, of the chapbook I Miss You Very Much 
(Slim Princess Holdings, 2011/13) and author of the chapbook This Room Has a Ghost 
(dancing girl press, 2010). Find her online here.


 

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