Cheap Lies

This is not me who’s talking. This is five obscene traumas involving a by-sexual mother and a precocious baby brother who went dim. Under stolen lava lamps he recited the ways of our dying. Then he did just that to make sure someone did it right. This is twenty years ravaged by marching in a Beat Crusade. This is my vision of America: all highway without endpoints. I never had sex on an airplane, but I still have a fear of being taken hostage in Bangkok. This is the smooth cracker-jack face hiding 10,000 drop points in a non-life of enemy held valleys. Polite people call it boredom and endless bunny-wail on Echo. This is the look of the first boy-virgin who turned his back to me. Even after surgeries, he never lost that face. Dumb in photos, beautiful in self-reflected solitude. This is my father in the bathtub, fingers tapping the air while reciting Balzac, steam drifting throughout our little house at the edge of a rain. He had a voice of bamboo. He cut us good with his strung syllables and uncut nails. This is the world as my idea of snare and bass drum. I want to beat it until my hands bleed, then I’ll turn electronic. But this is not me as in whole number or reduced to a common denominator. This is not me as in sum of or inverse of or the converse is thus. This is your soul speaking through me in the only sign language it knows. This is the part of you and me that isn’t three chord and two minutes and fifty seconds of air time. This is the part of me that main-lines you. Every day, we both die to save one overlapping part of the other.

Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poems: Avenue C (Scars Publications), Cat People (Scars Publications) Fuzzy Logic (Punkin Press), and Amsterdam & Other Broken Love Songs (Flutter Press). He has been published at Blue Fifth Review, Step Away, and The Other Room. He blogs at