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Lie Image Truth Image Lie Image Truth Image Lie


You twist a sopping towel
free of water as you think of me
This opens me up
I want to be needed
I print screenshots of our texts
In the huge shower of our world
How does it feel to keep moving
quite close so that I might always finger
the serrated edges of you

Teethy, I see you sitting there
How do you feel knowing a clitoris is a giant squid
with multi-tentacled nerve-endings
Genius tentacles dragging in
and out of every part of me in
to every part of you

No, this is not drugs but pleasure
The common demoninator
How do you feel when you think of me or look at me
The inside of next month’s glossy architecture magazine
Arriving ten minutes early for a drilling
Freelance check from ten years ago, finally in the mailbox
That I might touch that cheek?

I'm still caught up in what you might think of me
The height of the industrial revolution
Rereading my Shakespeare
Clicking my links
Did you read my poems

When I speak, do I say something touching
Wandering bored lets me feel many tendernesses
& I know you need me, roll down your antlers, leave your
body to the street  

I will roll out the red carpet for your cock
you throw a blanket over the slaughtered mustang

(Our unknowing lie image image lie image)

Please allow me to quit starving for five minutes
a.k.a. the rest of my life

(Truth image true true lie image true true)

This spirited feast is a long time coming
We need to talk, truth be bold, about the large body of work
that keeps me from touching your bod in blood
It’s not shocking that people watch read think
Shakespeare and not not shocking that I feel
myself thinking of you

On weeknights you feel yourself thinking of me
Text me good night from your newly set up bedroom
Cry to me, kneeling on one knee or both
Would love to see you on all fours reaching for the far wall

Male fragility v. much ignorance
They say to pay attention to a Leo
That’d buoy me up for sure

(Truth image lie image)

Now I’ll list some states:
California, suffering
Maine, hunger, measureless light
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island,
opia, purity, New York, absence, Puerto Rico,
sonder, rubatosis, monachopsis, Vermont,
the boundlessness of nothingness

(Truth lie truth, lie truth)

You on your knees




Léon Theremin Playing His Own Instrument


A man entered my bedroom with his mind.
He took his mind-hand and waved it past my ass
brushing it just softer than an accident.
A strong hello: simple as wind through an open window.
Then he waved hello to his own grave like Léon Theremin playing his own instrument.
My mother hates it when I call something “sweet,”
but I can't help it. It was kind of sweet.
This jogged me from one state and into the next.
Why not call me on the phone?
When I looked at his hands moving there,
I saw only the absence of what they might hold
and what vibrations tore through this Velcro loud enough to transport.
You called me with your mind.
See, once the novelty hand gets going,
it glides back and forth and bobble-bounce-waves
at all the passengers in surrounding cars saying Hi.






In high school
We were given calculators
To do complex math problems
More complex in some ways than anything
I've done since
And now
I'm like: what
Is more complex than
Typing 58008
On a calculator
Holding it upside down
And showing
My neighbor
That it spells





Amy Lawless.JPG


Amy Lawless is the author of the poetry collections My Dead and Broadax (both from Octopus Books).  A chapbook A Woman Alone is just out from Sixth Finch. With Chris Cheney she is the author of the hybrid book I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected from Pioneer Works Press' Groundworks Series (2016). Poems have appeared widely and have been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2013 (in collaboration with Angela Veronica Wong),  Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion selected by the Academy of American Poets, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press). She received a 2011 NYFA poetry fellowship. Amy grew up in Boston but lives in Brooklyn.