Spencer Silverthorne




Everyone Goes to the Park to Take Engagement Pictures by the Honeysuckle

Spencer Silverthorne

The last time I prayed I asked
for a bouquet of lavender,
so I could picture a beloved figure,
now a stranger, in a field outside
of Nice, picking them just for me.
(I am too old to be congratulated
for my birth.) I have learned to ponder
like a base relief emerging from a fountain.

On top of my wet head, I wear
a black cap with grey words
etched on the crown, displayed
as Nowhere. It makes me look
like I belong in that Gregg Araki
movie. (I woke up so late today.)
No character would ever be
engaged, but after 30 years
expressions of death forge on.

Although Mother has been gone for a decade,
I can still hear her sing her greetings.
I try not to think of platitudes, one says,
when they want to change for good.
We become the avenues waiting for fire,
and I am no longer allowed to be fickle.

Suddenly a cigar-happy in-law
charges through the brush insisting
his vision lasts longer than keepsakes.
Soon, he will regard the development,
before he storms to edge out the suggestion
of nuisances: rodents gnawing at his foundations,
loud cheers for rose bushes, and a sudden swarm.

Holy Orders Come Off Like Thread

The evening felt like a dick joke. How could one be rich, then give
up his possessions? If one makes material out of a vow, it must hang

near that beating where it felt like fire accumulating utterance. O
Yeah the Yahweh Outta Ya. What a thing to say when it was off.

It was off, and it had to be off, and it had to be brown like a dirty scroll.
It must not spark, for the light was with/in, but it must pass as dirt.

Had he dreamed of immortality as a self portrait with a dove for each finger?
The secular world must sound like bleating. No order to idolatry, really.

It was off, and maybe it was torn from vestments. What was beauty
when the venerated blurred to gesture brown? Tossed to the table.

What happened to the lambs? Spent too much time meditating on blue.
This russet here was common but it had a secret: God gagged the language.

“Shouldn’t we be omitting something?” he said like he had entered
before, as it was beauty, and he hoped that my, any, body had possession.

Tossed to table. I made a request to head off the candelabra.
It was off, so was he in/to it? Had to be an error in punting the spirit.

So much for articulating doctrine. There had been another error, so off!
I spotted brown like butcher paper. I followed orders to delude a loose game.

I kept still and lost water by the basin. The ellison crept in the sample,
the thereness of feeling facsimile, as he located the familiar, as past

subscribers spoke of warmness with wide-eyed alacrity. So a secret
with two weeks of voiding. Got past legibility to find the erroneous.

It was off, and with an addition of, forgive me, the infinitive to take
out the question. Had to be gagging language. A stern abandon to put

away edicts and pile the leaves later. Out on the table, brown, it was off.
Venerated losses to reproduce a familiar diminutive toss off. I stopped

observing. I had to prime myself for a salubrious memory.
I had been inserted in a line of fondness and familiarity:

Remains were as inscrutable as hell, but someday
I could sink to a pond that one finds by stampeding.


Spencer Silverthorne’s chapbook Premium Brawn was a finalist in the Bateau Press Keel Chapbook Contest. His work is also published in Always Crashing, Assaracus, Bending Genres, Landfill Journal, Permafrost Magazine, Tammy, Yes Poetry and others. Originally from Philadelphia, he is now a PhD student in English and Creative Writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.