Dennis Arlo Voorhees


Tell Me No

Pink fingernails
fill the front yard.
Go ahead, arrange the fireplace.
The world operates
from your enemy's bellybutton.

Those are cherry blossoms
littered on the lawn.
We can glue together butterflies.
After Sara attends a funeral
she wants to kill somebody.

Isn't the sun your favorite iceberg,
the night a black moth glittered with lice?
Don't empty glasses break?

Wind from Chicago
thaws in each ribcage. Please
wrap a milk snake around your wrist.
Somebody with bad rhythm
orchestrates the dark.

Can't we return home
like kidnapped sisters,
then yell for our horses when our hearts heat up?
Aren't all moments wrong
gray sculptures of dead tongues?

Aren't all tongues gray?
Kissing, I feel my lips corrode.

Azaleas wait for us
to arrive always one day
late, confessions postponed.
Don't bloom for us. Don't die.
Don't empty glasses break?



In January Dennis Arlo Voorhees left his apartment in Oregon to get a pack of Pall Malls and a bottle of red wine. Now he lives in Mezobereny, Hungary, on the great Hungarian Plain, where he sits on his front porch trying to figure out how he crossed the Atlantic Ocean. His porch is really a roof which is really a stork's nest, and every morning he shares coffee with an actual stork. His poems and stories have appeared in Humdinger, Ephemeris, The Portland Alliance Make More Love, Hot Metal Press, zygote in my coffee, and a few other places. His self-published chapbook, Milk Replacer, can be found at Powells and in the milk rooms of dairy farms across America. He is the founder of the Broken Word Poetry Reading, which occurs every Tuesday night in northeast Portland, Oregon.

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