Ultraslant  ::  Shop  ::  Journal  ::  About  ::  Submit  ::  Cart

Jeffrey Allen


You should have seen
him javelin the moon right
through its heart, kick over
each headstone with a name that
rhymed with yours. He built
a boat from a cooler and rode
down flooded street-rivers,
kissing every cheerleader
until his city froze. His town
turned mammoth, trapped inside
a glacier, clinging to any bit of alive.
He car-crashed through us
like garbage cans full of concrete,
and told me we were genuine leather,
black and blind; told me we were something
new; told me we were young. His friend
died in a field surrounded
by pieces of a car, you died
in a bed surrounded by your family.
We all leave the world amidst so much wreckage.
Daniel threw a rock
at the sun, and watched it fall out,
the dog-tongue of the sky;
so unsurprised, so wet.
You should have seen him
eat the earth into a hole,
climb to the bottom, and convince
me it wasn’t a grave.

Summer Orientation 

I first knew you
in a long blue wig
and a cat’s tail,
movement like a northward
river, tray full
of burgers and cheese fries.
Now I am a wolf
eating the moon,
its shadow, the patterned
bandanas that fell
from your skull. Jaundice
is as yellow as blood
is blue
and your room was your body,
the beating of you
felt in the hall.
They opened the windows
that afternoon
and you rushed out
in the weight of colors
and I stared
at the sky until
it was undone,
howling out bottles
to smash in the driveway.

Jeffrey Allen
is the author of Simple Universal (Bronze Man Books 2007) and holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago. His poems, reviews, and interviews can be found in Another Chicago Magazine, Cut Bank, Forklift Ohio, H_NGM_N, Pinwheel, RHINO, and TriQuarterly. He serves as the Educational Outreach Coordinator for H_NGM_N Books and Poetry Editor for phantom limb.