Jenn McCreary

The abyss has its own rewards
for Steve Farmer

For each four-leaf clover
a six-legged frog

For each lickable fury
a feral angel

For each flaming marshmallow
a runaway shopping cart

For each scribbled treasure map
a secret test

For each naked promise
a silkworm intervention

Cellos & snakes at the heart
of every cool mistake




Use this as a compass

Use this for the ritual

Use this for keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or
loss, & chant: pain, begone, I will have no more of thee

Use this bastard wing folded behind your back, your finely tuned
clavicle, your hair as lasso or noose

Use this splitting image, these words (fallen from my mouth), this
door (formerly a window)

Use all our girlhood superstition about scoliosis, hexes, poxes &




To believe but only sometimes

To unearth a more useful abyss

To seek prophetic messages in the warm glow of yesterday’s shock

To navigate the inevitable underworld with pure conviction

To translate fear into possibility

To change the taste of sleep




Use quiet awe

Use your tongue, the strongest muscle
in your body

Use coffee, candy, secret stale cigarettes hidden
in the back of the medicine cabinet

Use the weight of your gaze, the curve of your
spine, the return of your voice

Use all of this as protection from hegemony
& cultural appropriation

Use glitter & guile to disguise your despair




For each deathless beauty
a noble failure

For each lesser enchantment
a graceful détente

For each responsive machine
a choreographed catastrophe

For each psychosexual apocalypse
a disruption contingency

For each tedious evil
a sudden deliverance

Delight & delirium in the rubber room
of every season in hell