"Headstone," "Rumors of Yellow Flowers," and "Handbook"


I’ll vanish in granite like moments we shared on the day we spoke about gravity on that piece of earth that knew so well the weight of our warm bodies. We barely moved, though the air was on fire, leaves tumbling to settle in our empty shoes. Is this noted? Is this recorded in anyone’s trembling calendar but mine? Is this chiseled in anyone else’s mineral face?



Rumors of Yellow Flowers

The season of leaving arrives and we forge makeshift vows and conjure ceremonies out of smoke and flowers in a tiny cabin. Why, always, this shack stacked with dead wood upon dead wood? Why does nothing outside this room ever continue to exist? I answer these questions with other questions. When a woman lies down on a bed and pretends to sleep, is a man expected to build a fire? When will a death mask grin from the other side of the room like a grim joke? Who will acknowledge the carnation sliding, back and forth, endlessly, across the dashboard of this long black car?




My motivation is a voice bringing me to the edge of the bed. I’m weighing in on stupid hands like the Georgian moon is a slanderous symbol in an age of useless commas. Please punctuate my tongue, nose, and throat. Discontinue the real estate on this sad street of houses moaning like imaginary love. The Russians stare at me from all mirrors. The windows are open but the alphabet is all wrong.



Bernd Sauermann received an M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  He has taught at McNeese and several other colleges and is currently a professor in the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities at Hopkinsville Community College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He is also associate editor at Posit Journal of Art and Literature.

His books include a chapbook titled Diesel Generator from Horse Less Press, a book of prose poems titled Seven Notes of a Dead Man’s Song from Mad Hat Press (2014), and his latest book of prose poems, titled Redshift, published by Lit Fest Press in 2015.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, July 2, 2018 - 12:01