about the author

Glenn Shaheen is the author of the poetry collections Predatory (U of Pitt Press, 2011), and Energy Corridor (U of Pitt Press, 2016); the flash fiction chapbook Unchecked Savagery (Ricochet Editions, 2013); and the flash fiction collection Carnivalia (Gold Wake, 2018).

Bookmark and Share


font size

Two Poems 

Glenn Shaheen

Black Throttle

My friends designed a flameproof suit.
I’m sorry I brought you here again, to
this mesh of discomfort, this Deep South
tangle of moss and noseeums. You’re
more comfortable in the city, I know I
am. We bore witness to the man cracking
the whip in the abandoned tobacco barn
downtown. My friends designed homemade
napalm, new forms of heartbreak. Insults
popping in the woods like distant rounds.
Your...life, we’ll call it, walled in
moderate white opulence, more marbled
from mine, you had no fist fights in your
school, your racists weren’t armed. Many
of my greatest friends have been nice
snakes. It is said the snake makes home
coming fun. Growing up in the South is
easy when you realize you’re all teeth.
Jawbones found in the brackened woods.
I don’t wanna mention the whole growing
up Arab in the South thing, but the job
search committee makes me, revels in
my difficulty, doesn’t hire me anyway.
Let’s get difficult. If placed in the, hm,
impossible situation would we choose
to save one human life or all of antdom.
Who relies on the microthieves, little
pinpricks on the heels, somebody must.
Somebody makes the snake a friend,
makes the snake a sack lunch. Anybody
who’d tell me I’m pretty, hold me up
to the light to check my bone structure,
it’s all there. The creep in the woods
accidently shot by the hunter, by the kids
popping off rounds for fun. None of them
should have been that close to civilization.

New Discoveries in the Field of Meat Eating

Wisely unglassed amidst the crowning stars a honk
from between the steam and cool thinking
brings about, yes, a new metamorphosis in styles
a la mittens on threads of tangled yarn that
deliver midmorning frustration.
Here we have languages that are free and owned
and freely owned, but what of other arenas,
mostly concrete and whose shadows conceal
a great number of blemishes the city council has
tried to erase. It’s the blemish in which
the character arises to bludgeon some good sense
upside one’s head, sense that leaves a stinging smart
and sense that echoes atop the high notes of the alleyway.
The alleyway its own ecosystem, little webs of survival
woven between all the creatures nestled snug in their
dread. A punctuating rapport. What silliness pain
and its cadence, what a fun invitation. Flowers taking
a great number of meanings, lilies around the casket,
dread in the burial home, dandelions that destroy
a well kept lawn, little golden explosions, and fruit too.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...