the destroyer > text > Joshua Marie Wilkinson


Another long thread to pull at in wonder of what it's attached to.

Trying to set down what before I'd carry across into anachronism.

An old poem's widow at the net & a bird's spidery wing.

Are the windows open?  

Can't you open them any further?

What scrapes you heals you.

That's not right, but there is a pause before that clippery voicemail beep.

My friends call each at a time. 

Said, here we are.  Spent to fire.

Known to ash, to firetrucks, to the medics looking for something else

to channel up.

What's the right way out of here?

Turn it all up, Dana.

Turn everything up to bleeding.

To summer sun ablaze on the tarry roof with no stars to taser us down.

Is this what we get when we hold the phone to our face?

What did you so want to become 

that rent you back to becoming?

I want the curtain to crush the pretty actor.

I want the sets to grow vines into the scaffolding.

So begins the apology's long drawn chain of blowflies out of the bottle,

a metaphor for beasts to know us quickly, what we are—–stranded.

This isn't for a book of polaroids.

It's to clock roads of an errancy. 

An obsession with—–

An obsession with what?

With the lamp-lit dust an archive leaves the library shelves with—–

But what history did you want back inside of?

Little whale on the Gastineau beach won't last long.

The dream out in the miners' wood, trampling on now.

I like the floorboards in here.

Can I stay awhile?

I'm thinking about going quietude.

Simone says it's harder than experimental bullshit

& that's a fact.  No trapdoor, no transom, alright. I got it. 

Your boy's looking for a path the way up & out.

Slip the quitclaim

out of the old manuscripts & into a new terrain.

Check yes or no.

Sometimes I follow the words' sounds' cant, alright.

But I hear it under us—–

Stars are drifting closer.

Fuck what you wished up.

Your skin won't clean you out.

We aren't who we tried to be & finally

all the white boxed pressure

of looking for something to rattle me

cracks through not

like a volt but like

vertical rot up through 

the core of an apple—– 

a ribbed gray worm gorging

is how it felt.

Culpability & subversion.

Some snitch clacking about community

like he's into a carotid.

Sometimes I get down on the carpet 

& my dog comes over to see if I'm dead.

I am writing to you

from the watery grave.

You wanna cry?


Just don't try to clobber me 

with your shitty poems.

Terraplane, milkcow calf,

& some other kitchen blues

through the Cumberland Gap.

I am going to Atlanta, Georgia

to give this gift of bourbon 

so I can drink most of it up

& fight my oldest friend to the ground.

A carriage of bladdery heat & we're 

running in the rain—–

black blood dreaming

in the body.

Slow down & talk to the dogs.

Don't forget to check in on the greyhound next door.

I'm gonna try to get out of the plane 

by climbing out the lavatory window.

You wanna do this with me?