“A Poem in Response to the Act of Watching Paint Dry” by Nick Wort

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I have been skipping meals lately

(I know it doesn’t look that way,
bear with me)

just to feel those little rodents
circle inside my stomach —

a little centrifuge, a little
child I could have had.

You remind me, sometimes, of a mirror —
(I’m sorry, I’m too afraid to continue
that thought)

I don’t think hell is coming but
I don’t think this can be solved.

*

I want to talk about something
else now, this isn’t fun anymore.

It’s always love and money
and bodies with me, isn’t it?

Let me look at a parking lot
and see a bed of roses.


Nick Wort is feral and stupid and lonely. Follow him on Twitter @DollarTreeVegan

“The Spire Has Fallen” by Nick Wort

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I.

We used to name the spiders
on your porch after characters
from movies I’ve
never seen.

Watch them crawl into
the siding of your house
and laugh at the idea
of them winding up
in your bed. 

And it was all so nice
as long as we didn’t think it through. 

 

II.

It really is okay, dear
you do not have to worry about me

Just put it in your mouth. 

Let it sit on the wet under-
neath your tongue
and wait for it to melt. 

 

III.

Art turns on the last call lights
that run along the ceiling
— a little row of teeth, a little string of
rosary beads 

I give him my card but
I do not have to pay.

(I never have to pay)

And suddenly I am in front
of my house
and it feels so
pornographic, to step
out of your car,
feel the gravel waltz under-
neath your feet

and simply laugh.

 

IV.

You can watch Paris burn from the
comfort of your home.

Isn’t it lovely?

 

V.

We swayed across that nicotine
yellow floor at what felt like
one-hundred-and-twenty-six
miles-per-hour, but really only
one-hundred-and-forty-two
beats-per-minute.

(it’s beautiful)

Those beads of sweat
pooled into the cotton of
my shirt, painting it green under-
neath my arms

(there’s beauty in that, too)

And who would have imagined
the patters our shifting feet
would draw, like a child
clutching an Etch-a-Sketch™

Why were we there in the first place?

(it’s less beautiful to remember)

 

VI.

You could sing one-hundred-
and-twenty-nine songs
about my inadequacies
and it would be okay

— I am too stupid
to understand what 

you really mean.

 

VII.

(redacted)

[Did you really think I would just
say it?]

 

VIII.

I need help understanding your
opinion of me

but there are too many metrics—
you know that I am bad with numbers.

Hold out your hand, count
the folds that sleep under-
neath, on the back side of,
your knuckles.

Is the answer more than ten?

If you are able to, if it is not too much
trouble, imagine me bringing you
a Coca-Cola™

(full-flavor, not diet)

Is it in a can or a bottle?

 

IX.

You ask me where
my blanket is
and I tell you it has been under-
neath your head

this whole time.

 

X.

Today I am a child again
knocking on your door.
I can hear your mother’s red
high heels clicking on the tile behind that
white washed wood

There is no answer.

I leave, sit beneath
the tree in my old backyard
feel the sticks plead under-
neath my weight

I know that there is
not much time left.

I tried to sing, but

there was only silence.