Weston Cutter

There is no such thing as New York City
only avenues that run one way and streets
that according to a song I no longer listen to
run the same, New York City is a party
you’re always missing by five minutes and
the Coney Island of the mind translates
once you hit the midwest into the Coney
hotdog stand on Main Street in Fort Wayne
which there is such a place as, I’m presently
sitting in its worn-out city limits with
the meth freaks a block away under
their blue porchlight which glows every second
of each blazing day as I drive past flicking
the glass screen of my phone, checking the weather
of other real places like Chicago and Atlanta
and Burbank, which is what Los Angeles was
before it decided to cram everything it could be
into everything it wasn’t yet hence breast implants
hence green grassy lawns in the fucking desert summer
say this isn’t fair, this knock-’em-down mappy game,
that I’ve spent only x amount of days trying
to unread the phrase vaginal rejuvenation in
a Los Angeles Starbucks or being one of six
midwesterners in a shoebox Manhattan apartment
in which were only nine people but then
there’s how in Omaha two years ago I gave
directions to a beautiful woman in the tightest
black skirt, she asked are you from here + where’s
the airport + I thought: my town too is also built
on a river + I was infinitely restless till I knew
how to get away, she was grateful + perfectly sexy
in a going-away way, which is the second sexiest way
to exist, the first being the coming here way
which must be how she looked to whoever awaited
her arrival, when+wherever, just as my love looks
as she parks the dark car + makes her way back
to repopulate the city anyone’s chest,
             in this case mine, forever is.
space break

Intro to Astronomy

I flip the bird to the guy driving
too close behind, he flashes
his brights, meteors past +
three blocks from home two teens
sprint off, cans of Rustoleum clanking
at each step, their handiwork—JEFF
IS A FAGG—hollering from the side
walk in front of a plain blue two-
story, a kiss to my wife on entering
then I feel for bumps + abnormalities
along the dog’s neck, fearful
I’ve done him in bit by yanked bit
each time a squirrel’s scampering’s
overridden the yes master software
I’ve tried to program into him
with treats + ear scratches, all
the times I’ve pulled him from
his orbit of exploratory experience
to the binary system I say aloud is us
as we traipse through a neighborhood
we moved into a year ago + now
so casually call ours, who doesn’t
believe his own life’s a landmass
with gravity, a walk-on-able essence,
and then there’s 10th grade chemistry
+ Mr. Kelly, now dead, explaining
that electrons are never there,
can’t be spotted, stopped + pointed at
like a dog on a leash, like a dick
gunning a blue Camaro down
a residential street like it’s Monaco, like
the kid who must be Jeff out with
his own can, editing, now it’s JEFF
is afagg + all the black dripping
like the feeling of the dream in which first
there’s the boat you row, then
there’s you releasing string after string
of yellow balloon into the all yes blue of
the summer sky of yr youth, then
there’s the telescope you squint into
while someone offscreen says look harder
+ you always awaken still tethered
to the moon that is yr body + life,
the lights left accidentally on glinting
like the most scattered + casual stars.
space break


Wind again, and portent, and
powerlines swaying, and dog
leaping into water toward
thrown stick, and oarlock’s
clank downstream, sound
of movement or motion’s attempt
and this scene, dog swimming
retrieved stick back to land
+ master, clouds tufted above
this here, this now, this this: this
gray day, smattering of dappled
blue smeared on canvas of sky
at coordinates I’m presently not,
and the paintings—art, she claimed
—an old lover made of our naked
bodies, the blue swirls, the ochre,
how yellow became a shade
resembling tenderness, how similar in
timacy and landscape could appear
and now the dog shaking pond
from himself, now at
my feet the stick as he wags, as he
waits, she painted dozens, all set
on a beach little different from this
thin sandy nothing from which I
now over + over throw the stick, each
set on beaches worlds removed from
the Minnesota wind and wheat
we wintered, far from snow she painted
us idealized, more beautiful + true
than it felt as we screwed
in dorm rooms, we were that young
and basking in the wealth of knowing
decades spooled before us full
of licked flesh + shivery hymns, yes,
and now a ray breaks through, illum
inates lake’s surface ten feet away
and I wish I knew where to throw
the stick, wish I knew the full value
of being shone upon, and once
we ceased being terra whatever
to the other’s Magellan or Vespucci, once
our breathy there‘s faded + we couldn’t
have pointed to anything on the other
as x- or otherwise marked you
are here spot and no location for hands
to find purchase or purpose, dog
of want and how we shook
each other off as if a wetness
to emerge from, how she scrawled
in charcoal we were never here on one
painting’s back, left it propped
against a door we’d never together again
pass through, the storm now will
or will not pass, has or has not, the dog
before me another beast awaiting a sign

WESTON CUTTER is from Minnesota and his chapbook Enough will be published in winter 2014 by the good people at Burnside Review.