from the hanging cloud of read mistakes

by Philip Sorenson

The Waspmen in the Pines Will Turn to Watch the Gassing

Unbutton my shirt, crack my chest
(Theremin squeals)
and the antlered thing will rise
from my torso’s cavity.

Wearing a crown of pelicans
and tallying the sand and stones,
it will fall in the street like snow
and crawl into the oven alone.

Down the Hatch

A menace on the heads
of these little shivering nudes

little horses with little black eyes.
Pears half etherized.

Like a hand dangling
from a hospital bed, everything

seems perfect for eating.
On these long orchard walks

where fruit snaps under foot
and the stork with its pierced heart

feeds its young on maternal gore,
we rest under a tree as the world’s

rim grows into heavy limbs
and climbs into our mouths.




Cargo planes land
where ships come to shore

from oceans where
mammoths drowse

like attic rooms. The lobby’s
floor is full of leaves;

outside’s a field
of gourds

and the owls that guard
creation. Sleep sound,

little owls
in your pitching pine boughs

as moths like fleets
of satellites turn.



Mothers and Kids

I’ll bring the whip
to the hospital, where they
haul the babies in. Fishhooks
and bait still dangle

in the trees. Get those
mother fuckers to work.
Old women giggle
from the handicapped stalls

and the children have
absolutely terrible breath.
They squirm in their seats
and eat and eat. Here are

the witches: Yellow Fly,
Pink Sky, Black Branch,
and Mouse. Here are
the carnations

and roses for sale.
Here is the smell
of chlorine and plastic
and macaroni and cheese.


PHILIP SORENSON lives in Chicago with his wife, Olivia Cronk. He teaches composition at Roosevelt University. His poems have recently appeared in Wunderkammer and elimae.