Because Every Transformer Needs Hummingbirds in its Crotch: Redaction Poem on a Theme by Tony Hoagland (after Dean Young after Koss after)
I have a big DECEPTICON.
Most ANIMAL RITUAL goes into it.
Destroyer god with one thousand INTERCHANGABLE PENISES
and SUBDUER of SNAILS.
Gigantic ENIGMATIC TRANSFORMER.
I’m sure glad I’m not trying to pass through airport security
with this big ACTION FIGURE.
Those of you who also have ACTION FIGURES
may call them NECESSARY
but you are UNDERESTIMATING the word.
I suppose I could CHASE after OPTIMUS PRIME if I had to,
I could probably do some SELF CONFIGURING if I must,
but having a big ACTION FIGURE
makes you feel like there’s not much else for you to do
except PLAY WITH the big ACTION FIGURE!
The PLOTS of which vary from
the DESTRUCTION of civilization (figurative)
to intercourse (literal) with the harmonic half of CYBERTRONIAN SISTERS
in the middle of MEGATRON’S oeuvre,
excluding the BRIEF BAPTISMAL period.
Also it must be admitted
some pretty messed-up behavior
which is the foundation of many video games
society WON’T be CODPIECE-BUNCHED about,
but I submit TO the result
of the suppression of the ACTION FIGURES’ beauteous expression
by the UNENLIGHTENED
than any specifically ADULT PROPERTIES/NOVELTIES.
Indeed, an ACTION FIGURE, if not usually a sign of VIRILITY,
neither is it necessarily a DISTILLATION of PASTEL rage.
Some MAMMALS have bigger ACTION FIGURES than I after all.
So if you want to campaign against RORSCHACH testing
on laboratory CHIMPS,
don’t ask a big MEGATRON.
But knocking down A GRAZING COW? You bet!
Maybe there’s a CONCRETE PASTURE out there worth a look-see.
Hey, there’s AN ACTION FIGURE in a tree.
CUB SCOUTS had prepared this PLASTIC visitor
for its ENVIRONMENTALLY INCONGRUOUS activity
by installing gaskets and cushions and HUMMING BIRDS in its PELVIS
(to avoid SOCIETAL damage) AND, NOT TO MENTION,
CULTIVATED A PLAYFUL LOVE OF FIRE.
Wow, look at that ACTION FIGURE go!
Providence AND ITS BOUNDLESS LANDFILL AWAIT us all.
Write / Like Them / Deer Editor
Originally published in What Rough Beast
Dead deer poems
Dead deer poems
Dead deer poems
skinning / what white guys do
poetics of slaughter
some call it redneck
or writable rite of passage / manhoody stuff
poetry fodder / banal glory / hole
man hole / man cover / holy hole / white mite
straight narrow arrow / white schooled boys
write right / white write / write white
wisteria whispered in breathy metaphor (think Marilyn Monroe)
winnowing across a creamy / linen / fat / edition
Whitman-coopted / a likable queer / worthy of eating
all dead now / all harmless / all whitely-bearded / disappeared
nature or nuture / how did “we”
get to this place / or you / me-them
this place of writing / of skinning / of publish /
of material-thin / of privilege / of ownership /
of word-other worldness / tradition
think / nothing much to write home about
or poems / “don’t be so serious,”
said the white-faced joker to the native girl
and the black wiry girl
and the thin queer boy
and all who didn’t “fit” in
and all of those lovely poet heads with their mouths full
of stories lolling along macadam highway shoulders
as the fast sleek cars full of exquisite bourgeois language slashed by
speeding towards their glory
to the colossal listening
those gobbling their mirrors
let me just say this / let the dead deer sleep
without affected elegies
you ate them after all
there is no redemption in your pen
people without mouths or tongues are dying everywhere
Abandonment Birth PTSD Poem – (Re)creation #1
Originally appeared in Mom Egg Review
Discharged two weeks early,
less than nine months of scrunched-up you
wrinkled pink ball wriggled—then popped
bloody, screaming, and ready for fight-or-flight
with your ruffled stump wings,
smashed arm, and crumpled shoulder
gnashing in birth’s trauma, where mother-god
connection snaps closed, and you’re left alone
in your existential freedom, so mount Kafka’s cockroach,
Gregor, and gallop happy, butt-slung in black cowhide chaps,
yee-hawing queerity across the embarrassing town
you were born in (Howell).
Howell never embraced you baby, but that’s the beauty
of it all.
A Modern Highway Death
Originally published in Spillway
I could be the dead dyke on the highway
Frozen to pavement, stiff as a scull, its ocean
Drained to the bone, when no one answered
Their phones the record cold night in twenty-fourteen
When my car died and burned on the freeway.
The world, you see/and don’t, is in flux between
Connections and short circuits. They all sat
On their couches, fingering their phone screens
All filled with emojis, fleeting OMG/LOL/distractions,
Waiting for the next random thing to stir them.
Ringers off, the snow forms a hull ’round my corpse
Barely covering my skull/my silenced eyes drift
Into the nimbus/through which the headlights glow.
A Dyke Cowgirl Takes Herself on a COVID Taco Bell Date
Originally featured in Kissing Dynamite Poetry and a BotN-nominated poem
All the single ones in the Taco Bell parking lot,
cars strung in a line, like beach people, lonely
in the COVID cluster. One guy sips a Coke through a crook
straw, occasionally checking out the others, flings chips
at the seagulls through an open window. They say
Mexican pizza is on its way out. Another thing to feel
sad about. I only occasionally indulged, once
in five years, but attach my sadness to its demise—
like flies on the week-old taco bits, curb-blown, missed
by the gulls. The drive-thru is jammed from dawn to close,
a not-quite-palpable girl voice calls me “honey bunny,”
eager to take my order. Two bean burritos with sour cream,
diet Coke, light-on-the- ice—less than five bucks.
I was always a cheap date. Hand a five to a large hairy man
in glittery bunny ears fixed to a plastic tiara, singing into his mask,
hump dancing, and in-the-moment-happy. They work sixty hours
with overtime that inches them just out of the poverty bracket
if you discount health insurance. Essential American fast food
to get us through the pandemic. Disposable workers. Yet here I sit
in my car, and this meal is all I’ve got today.
The honey-voiced girl passes me my Coke
and sticker-sealed bag in a plastic, no-touch container.
I feel a bit like a shit, as I, unlike them, am not essential,
and am without song, without bunny ears shedding
their glitter into the exhaust-filled air.
Koss is a queer writer and artist with publications in over 200 zines and anthologies including Best Small Fictions, Beyond the Frame (diode poetry), Get Bent (Bending Genres), San Pedro River Review, Moonpark Review, Five Points, Cincinnati Review, Spoon River, Prelude, Chiron, and many others. Find links to their work at: https://koss-works.com. Twitter: @Koss51209969