TERRITORY

Now that I live in the land of mound

effigies I figure

it’s time to take the leavings

of my heart and make

of them a buffalo. Swollen

shuffling buffalo. Bubbling red buffalo

pustule. Shag swarm.

A buffalo so

utterly

distended it could

only be pregnant with history.

We put on our hats

and take out our knives

and cut the party

into fist-sized cubes and almost

everyone still

goes hungry. Dead red history cake

with leather frosting. Tom Petty

put it in my video.

Gave me one line: don’t come

around here

no more. I say

it over and over. I don’t

like strangers like

me. I’m more than I can take.

I’ve eaten way too much

party mound

and I think I’m going to be rich.

I get blind and spin with a dissevered animal

tail in the stickled clutch of my palm

until I’m just

rich as fuck and filled

with unkind wind. I piss

straight into it and always

under a stranger’s stars.

Piss and whistle. Don’t come

around here no more. The stars

are so

cold my teeth could

up and shatter. I gather

the white dust in my wallet.

I swirl

my teeth in the dark and unbuyable

sky until my smile’s

the Milky Way. I look up

and see the footprint moon like

a thief tiptoeing

though my grin. I can only

stomp and whinny and in the morning

I eat cigarette apples

and cough the sun black.

I’m American.

I can do that.

Front page image by code poet

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Chris Martin

About the Author

Chris Martin is the author of American Music (Copper Canyon, 2007) and Becoming Weather (Coffee House Press, 2011). This October, Flying Object serially published CHAT, an eclogue with Cleverbot. It appeared on their website each day for a month with accompanying illustrations by various artists. He is also the author of the chapbooks How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem (Brave Men, 2011) and enough (Ugly Duckling, 2012). He is an editor at Futurepoem books and lives in Iowa City with his wife, the poet Mary Austin Speaker, with whom he co-wrote the play, "I AM YOU THIS MORNING AND YOU ARE ME TONIGHT."
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