"Concrete Entrenchment," "Star Spangled Bullets," and "While the Veil is Thin"

Concrete Entrenchment

They tried to elongate my canal
by spreading my legs in the concrete inlet.
Rip out what's inside because
it can't float
in a tiny body
with more concrete.

            (I feel wedged in the middle
            of two groups
            that both use
            their own concrete
            and try to force it
            upon me...)...

It might look like a cat
but it's a cyborg.
Even if it makes more
purring sounds, those sounds
were made up out of
lead paint.

Lead in to the whorehouse bathroom
where all the tails are rising
or falling or penetrating
all the filters
until everyone drips
after being filled with jet fuel.

Explosive devices stream,
streamers explode, 
because the whorehouse is a place
of love and colors

            (This is not my kind of love.
            I want to create my own
            colors. Not someone else's
            agenda of colors forced
            inside every torn apart stall.
            Not another concrete slab
            thrown into every wading pool...)...

If I could create any type of 
tender, money, resource,
pick a name for inertia 
and then deposit us elsewhere.
Like on a parallel planet 
or one of Venus' hidden faces 
deep underneath the tinderbox teeth.



Star Spangled Bullets

Spring break toy guns fill the air
where real guns are being shot by phantoms.

Another bad hair day
as it drips down the back
into an unintended reverse mullet,
blood drenched and about to be

to a sharp point in the front,
a knife of strands
gripped by hands
made of thread.
Only the monster phantoms can hold the lead

bullets. Where did the good phantoms go?
Home to where they can preside without conflict.

Off planet. The shape and color of the system dynamics
and a BodyGraph in hand to explain all the mystical mechanics
of replacing the bad hearts with tortes
and the skewed timelines with solar disposition.

Can sponge cake and blood go hand in hand
even though cake doesn't have hands
or the standard definition of wings?
Yes because two hands cup around the cake
and the blood runs between.

Some people look away from the blood.
Some people can't stop looking into it.
Some people bleed inside their brain.
Some people swim away on the blood of life
until they turn into something new.

Some people can't control their own flow
until every egg is tuned into an exploding gun rack.



While the Veil is Thin


My embalming fluid expansion kit
will help your breast implants
live forever. However,

I don't really want to know if you want to live
forever. So don't argue or push back,
just put on this dress and then crawl
into the casket.

I want to paint your face
and likeness to a memory
from long ago. She died,
crashing out a car window, her head
snapping.  The head snapping is of note.
You could hear her transition
from miles away, among pine trees.

Way up in the tundra, a tree begins growing,
showing its silicone leaves
and bare-chested pride. The chest of a female
strong as wood and beaming 
in the light until the branches begin to leak
secret love languages.
In these—torrential 
tongues that will be used
to remake the world.

When the time is right,
I will create another new embalming fluid
that brings dead birds back to life,
turns the bird cemetery into a new space
and let’s go of all sense of shame.  

The body without shame
is a brand new invention, but
does it have anything to do with real life?



Liposuction surgeons and Botox gurus
rallied around new life. New bodies
rose up out of glacial grooves,
reunited with new lake effects,
started to create new seaweed
hair extensions.

Sunspots on the dinner table 
expanded into fertility treatments
to create flying fish eggs
with leaves for wings.

Somehow this all boiled down to the underside
teachings of The Tibetan Book of The Dead.
Collages filled with caterpillars crawling out
of engraved heads. Grave diggers
giving each other head
in night's integrity.

October is no more or less creepy in the graveyard
than any other night.
Our faculties are just as damaged
and the facility is filled to the brim
with bats and horrific bite marks.
We treat the marks as marks on a headboard.

When a board collapses, a vein starts bleeding,
then we treat the vein like a vine,
climb it past the last line in the storybook fable,
find bottles of blood
pretending to be red wine.

Pro-life, pro-death, or pro-choice
between all these broken body parts.
I want at least half of a heart
and a fully fulfilled third eye whereby
I can smell my lovers cologne,
use the scent to find the other eye
that was ripped out and stolen by a vicious magpie
who grew its nest on the silicone leave tree,
accused my lover of donating the eye
for science involving bird song juxtaposed
with gag reflex sound effects.



I feel strained from just having stated my life story,
but now I can start over again,
as soon as these light bulbs grow wings
and give birth to a new eye
hovering right over the window's crotch,
aiming towards the cut open pumpkin
filled with eyeballs
from last year's Christmas.

You thought 
I was talking about those decorative ones.
I am
alive anymore,
except for inside
one slice of pie
shaped like a whole new eye
the size of a world
filled with oversized, overstocked
variations. Vibrations to outshine 
the sun with another oddly shaped meteor shower.



Juliet Cook

Juliet Cook's poetry has appeared in a small multitude of print and online publications. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, most recently including red flames burning out (Grey Book Press, 2023), Contorted Doom Conveyor (Gutter Snob Books, 2023), and Your Mouth is Moving Backwards (Ethel Zine & Micro Press, 2023). She has another new poetry chapbook, REVOLTING, forthcoming from Cul-de-sac of Blood in fall 2024. Her most recent full-length poetry book, Malformed Confetti was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2018. You can find out more at https://julietcook.weebly.com/. Juliet recommends Planned Parenthood.

j/j hastain

j/j hastain is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j hopes to make the god/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning seasons of the moon.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, July 2, 2018 - 11:55