"Glass," "Stinging nettle tea," and "The sadness will last forever"


the haunted house where love lives
is all windows
we stand on the street and watch
those we know go in
they’re transformed
they hover over concrete, which sighs
to no longer bear them
the windows don’t give them back to us
they drift through halls, soundless
buoyed by our dreams



Stinging nettle tea

I miss the hornet and its horrible taper. It was a sharp heat that strafed the room, red lick of a sniper's sight. The room bobbed and weaved to avoid it while it whirred and tapped with its body at the window, unable to understand why it couldn’t pass through and fly into the trees on the other side. I was filled with the sound of expectation. I noticed the other day that some of the wild raspberry bushes have browned and shrunk from the sun. The hornet jarred the room and in the moonlit fluid I danced. There are intricate white flowers I do not understand. They inflict on the air a smell dizzy with rotten sweetness, petals retching with necrotic honey. I wonder if the hornet tasted its way out of the room at last, if it worked out by conflicting pressures a path to the half-open door. I'd grown withered in fulfillment. The room closed up behind it as it sailed away.
It doesn't have to
sting, flowering in paper nests
you are my red queen



The sadness will last forever

Van Gogh on his deathbed

At last there are cornfields, green neon seas waving under sleepless skies.

The fields are on fire with desperate jubilation. They heave.

The pain in color digs into earth, anchoring in sod, bloodied by sun. He covers his ears against the shriek of it. An hour passes him by, shedding gold glare over grasses.

Roots cleave soil from the hug of itself as a way to spin twilight until it gives up its disaster. We were too late for God. Roots like fingers gripping white buckling sky. This summer it is order that cramps the ancient wheat, crows that slash with departure air thick with the annihilation of love.

Was it today years ago when the fields dissolved into crows that the hard blue sky swallowed without a sound? Is the color of this font in pain? He covers his mouth so that the world doesn’t get in.

As we flare the dark coming down the road it scatters into dim wings that brush our faces, pushing through our lips, flooding our throats until we slash the breathless sky with songs. He’s flattening the fields and rolling them away.

At last there is a blue that washes memory. 



Lewis LaCook

As a child, on interstate trips, Lewis LaCook thought the moon was following his family’s Econoline van. Upon reaching adulthood, he couldn’t tell whether the truth disappointed or relieved him, so he started writing things down. Some of these things looked like poems, and they may have appeared in journals like Lost And Found Times, Whiskey Tit, Lotus-eater, Synchronized Chaos, and Slope, among others. In 2012 BlazeVOX published Beyond the Bother of Sunlight, a book-length collaboration with Sheila E. Murphy; previously, Anabasis published his book-length poem Cling. Lewis can often be found wandering the wilds of Western New York state with his wife Lindsay. Lewis recommends the Pleistocene Park Foundation.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, December 7, 2023 - 21:10