Mother Black

I am the kind of tired today
that sits on the inside,

a heavying that shows up on the porch,
invites herself in and cozies up
against heartbeat and bone,

wide hipped, she takes up her space,
she fogs up the windows
and shuts up all the doors,
says Sugar, the sunlight isn’t really
all that warm and golden today,
lets not worry ourselves about it.

She turns off every light in the house,
and creaks the sofa when she sits,
pats the space beside her,
says Come have a seat
beside me, sugar, it’s no good
going out today. Them flowers
smell like dirt and them birds
are stupid animals.

She lays my head against her big soft belly,
pets my hair with her big cold hand,
her hungry stomach groans against my ear,
she croons, Oh, sugar, you’re a
stupid kind of animal too, aren’t you?
Don’t you go getting silly ideas
like the world wants you in it.
Just go on back to sleep, sugar,
and let me keep you quiet.

I am the kind of tired today
that cozies up against heartbeat and bone,
and today the only thing I want
is to sleep against her big soft belly,

but she never stays forever
and tomorrow the sun will gold back up
and tomorrow the flowers will smell rich and sweet
and tomorrow the birds will sing pretty once more

and tomorrow the world will want me.

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.

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


Behind The Scenes

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


There are days when
you just cannot be happy.

When you cannot dredge
a new smile up out of the deep
silty mires of your soul.
When you cannot spoon
up from the muck
the peat-bog bones of
your laughs for the people
in your life who would hear them.

Days like this may bury you
without warning, like mudslides,
promises, like sinkholes,
or they may creep after you,
encroaching wet marshes
you may be able to keep
one step ahead of, for a while,
before they swallow your ankles
and pull you down.

When these days come for you,
I hope you will remember this:
the sun dries the mud,
and the rain washes it away.

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

All Blue

I am happy
when I am with you
and also sick sad.
I am all blue in the middle.

There are rainstorms in my belly
and my mouth is full of fog.

Wet moss
creeps into the spaces
between my cobblestones,
but I love you,

and you make the rainstorms
the kind the sun shines through,
and you make the fog
the cool mist of morning,
and you make the moss
bright green and the softest
I have ever felt

but I am still all blue
in the middle of me.

Bottle of Sadness

Your little red mouth
is a bottle of sadness
and you think you keep
it stoppered up,

but the cork is cracked
and the seal is loose
and you drip
little splashes of sorrow
every time you speak.

In the morning,
I wake next to your wet sheets,
your pillow soaked through with it.

It smudges on the rims
of glasses you drink from,
it tastes of salt and dusk and blue
on your lips

and even when you laugh,
it boils away and steams
in the air —
the room fills with fog,
you stop laughing again.

I used to think
you had only liters in you,
but some days I think
you have the whole deep sea.

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