Galaxy

You order fancy sprinkles
off the Internet. Twenty bucks
for a small jar of bright glitter

and when they come in,
you sail away into the kitchen,
gathering cosmic dusts:

sifted flour, cocoa solids,
granulated sugar, a scatter of salt,
and other celestial bodies:

yellow yolks like suns,
a milky way of cream and vanilla,
soft butter, drops of color.

You poured this batter of starstuff
into a pan black as space
then the long heat, the longer cooling,

until you finished with
a glossy blue-black glaze
and your jar of sprinkles

and finally, you cut a wedge
to reveal brilliant colors:
the swirling nebula within,

handed me a fork
and asked me what I thought:
this cake is so much like you,

until the first sweet bite,
I never knew I could taste stars.

— Adam Kamerer


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-- Adam Kamerer

Creek

You wade barefoot into the creek,
your dress damp to your knees
and you turn back to see
if I would follow you.

How do I tell you
about the ghosts I see
nipping at your toes,
minnows in the water,

about the little mouths of shadows
that sail lazy among the leaves
on the surface of the stream?

The sunlight filters down
to glisten on the eddies and on you
and you splash laughter dancing,

but how do I tell you
as sweet as wading in the river
of your happiness sounds,

I can join you with my body
but not with my soul.

I am shorebound today,
unbaptised and heavied,
there are rocks in my pockets
that your laughter cannot lighten,
I cannot go into the water with you

but please keep laughing,
and splash your joy upon my face,
pour cupfuls of it over my head,
you chase the ghosts with brightness
back into their shallows,
you make the shadows shut their mouths.

— Adam Kamerer


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-- Adam Kamerer

All You Need Is Love

I woke up this morning
in a tar pit.

Bedsheets thick sticky
with black worry, pillow
sweat yellow to my skull
with nightmare
and night sweats.

I am thinking of mammoths
in La Brea, how I too
will be fossilized in this mire
if I can’t wash myself off
and stand up.

There’s an ache in my chest,
muscle and bone mimicking
the muck fist that clutches
my spirit. It is anchored
to the bedsprings, to the frame,
and I’m afraid if I lift myself up,
it will tear the heart out of me.
I exhaust myself with heaving
thrashes, and only bury deeper.

But,
I am also thinking of a Beatles song,
a small weak voice crooning from
somewhere beyond the tar,
a gentle reminder in the shape of a melody
that no one I want to save
can’t be saved,
even myself
and I want to go in search of it,
but how?

Tiny gestures.
Swallow pill,
brush teeth,
bathe body,
drink sunlight,
and feel the bog ease off,
even if it rages.
I will love myself in tiny spasms
and dig myself out

at least for today.

— Adam Kamerer


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Behind The Scenes

Want to know the story behind this poem? Patrons who pledge $5/month or more get access to behind-the-scenes notes on my poems.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

-- Adam Kamerer

Plunge

Every night this week,
I keep dreaming
that you throw me out
the open door of an airplane,
into 30,000 feet of blue —

You fling me out head first,
without altimeter or oxygen,
no tandem partner lashed to my back.
You cast me into solitude and blue,

not endless blue but ended blue,
a sharp-capped blue, a snapped-shut blue,
30,000 feet of blue and love
before the blue stops.

You cast me into solitude and love,
into 30,000 finite feet of your love.

This must be the weightlessness of your love.
This whirl into vapor, this vertigo.
A broad gasp of green looms up
to crack me open and I do not know
whether the stones in the ground,
whether the tiny houses, the lines of roads
are supposed to be a map to find you again
or just a picturesque countryside
to lull me down.

Is this the anxiety, the panic of your love?
Your love hammers the ribs in my chest;
your love is a scarcity of air, a burned lung —
a strained muscle, air pressure blowout–
I am trying to tell my body
we are all falling here at once
but some parts want to fall faster for you.

I cannot find the up of your love.
I am all turned around, I am whirled
head over heels over head
over heels over head
and there’s no way up,
no way down but down, but gravity
into slashes of blue and slashes of green
that circle and blur and whirl.
I am whirled; I am a world of your love,
a dead weight blackout of love,
a terminal velocity, a body dropped of love.

Every night this week,
I snap to wake as body breaks ground,
your name the cord of a parachute
clenched white-knuckle tight,
never snatched.

— Adam Kamerer


Listen:


Behind The Scenes

Want to know the story behind this poem? Patrons who pledge $5/month or more get access to behind-the-scenes notes on my poems.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

-- Adam Kamerer