Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stuck in Spokane

Stuck in Spokane
If you’re looking for Neverland, turn back now.
If you’re a middle class asshole and an unhoused outcast and seriously, homeless as shit, welcome home.
We’ve got a distinct meth problem and a happy trigger finger to boot,
But for fuck’s sake, you’re worth fighting for.

You’re neighbors with Radical Republicans and I-Only-Shop-At-Huckleberries South Hillers.
Others say “There’s just nothing to do here, I can’t wait to leave,
Anyone who says otherwise is suffering from prolonged Stockholm Syndrome.”
But you belong inside, with the outsiders.
And should you part, or try to,
We finally understand. It’s not us, it’s you.

See, if you don’t want to watch the channel, change it.

Because when you come from a place like Spokane,
You never have or will be beneath someone else’s boot.
When the going gets tough, Spokane will make you tougher,
And when you can’t take anymore, she’ll be here,
The underdog awaiting her pup.

-Tyler Pursch, 2015 (after Christopher Stuck’s “Spokane is an America”)

Her Kiss with a Fragrance of Beer

Her Kiss with a Fragrance of Beer


Two people crumb-
ling into clouds
Her dripping racoon of a man

Daylight hugs that biting supernova,
marigold arms trickling over nightmares,
Leaving drips of whispers

and washes plumb lips over
a sawdust cheek
Spinal cord and fingernail moons

Tightening and clapping her
Budweiser breath with my own
chapped lips

Lest the cerulean universe
wage war against lace concrete,
I’ll paint this sticky world green.

-Tyler Martin, 2015

Domino City

Domino City

Man is inherently evil, they
spat, fists clenched in bolded riot,
humanity peeking from their shadows,

Hungry, holey and Hand-Me-Down rags,
draped over shoulders hunched,
stiff under denim and flaking dirt,

waiting at sidewalk stops to enter
tin cans barreling
down tight lanes, sardines on-the-go.

Earlier, a boy’s soles slipped on opaque
slick, silence before the crash,
fishing line hands outstretched to hook

the floundering fellow on fallen snow,
eyes embarrassed, relieved,
as he was pulled to his feet by stranger gloves.


Tripping in the city, it’s too
cramped here, they’ll say,
just asking to be knocked down.

We build anyway, teetering on the lip
of rooftop and brick breaking
Our fall, so after all, each breaking back

dreamt for a reason, we built for a reason,
we stood up, ablaze
with pride, tough with burgundy sweat

to stand atop and tame the stars,
getting closer so that we
can be cooled by the misty spray

from river of midnight blue, sloshing
stars and promising,
new heights to the ants in boxes below.

Gleaming down on eyes glistening,
wetness pouring deep,
breaching dams of doubt outward.

Breathing for better, hearts pounding
bright in arable soil,
wandering, stumbling souls who shirk

certainty we don’t have time for.
We’re too busy burning
below, forming ramshackle ladders

from our kingdom of rippling hands,
clearing away the ashes,
and if one domino falls, we all do.

-Tyler Martin, 2015 (after Stephen Dunn’s “Loveliness”)

Good Company on Murray Street

Good Company on Murray Street

Black and white glint, still
my well-dressed rectangle
reminder of time-travel past.
Born-again business tucked beneath leagues of New
Yorkers, the honking and more honking, and Lord,
the honking and “Hey, watch where you’re goin’, kid!”
Misleading Google maps and streetlamps become
useless in our pilgrimage for that
holiest of waters, a divine
whiskey reward after the city’s humid

hug left our body’s river run dry.
At wit’s end, we gave in and spoke
to a priest alone in his church on Murray,
whose clerical robes promised SECURITY.
Roll away the boulder, right this way,
the staircase down, he said,
its thin descension beckoning.
For below, squinted eyes revealed
in God’s basement a speakeasy
lingering casually under a haze of dim

secrecy, teeming bow ties and boot
leg gin cocktails, the suspenders tinkling happy-go-
lucky harmony behind a drum and double-bass choir
leading the congregation to salvation in a cup,
confessing our sins in exchange for seven hail
bloody Mary’s. Then our communion the blood
of Christ in raised glasses, cheering
“Amen,” speaking easy because we’d been
baptized in an August evening, a Silver
Lining in Good Company on Murray Street.

-Tyler Pursch, 2015

Take Cover, Big Brother

Take Cover, Big Brother

My hands hung empty in space
Screaming and shouting for company,
A silent, open-mouthed noise
Only matched by my view out the window,
Empty dust in an ashen neighborhood
As the world whipped sideways before our eyes.
Yet somewhere nearby, another distress,
Not of the broken-hearted,
Not of the broken-bodied,
None of those,
Under the downpour of leaves
And electricity-singed air,
That live-wire cologne strong in the house,
The roof popped and lights shivered,
With every promising attempt the Big Bad Wolf made,
To blow our madhouse down.
Snapping crashing booming trunks,
Sauntering footsteps approaching our Welcome mat.
“The National Weather Service has issued a severe”
Worried mother with protective tendencies,
And a tear-soaked couch occupied by your sister.
“Stay away from windows”
And above all, be strong.
For her.
So naturally,
My atoms wrapped around that noise in that somewhere nearby
Aching for anything that might anchor us to the earth,
In this cardboard box, and read aloud,
Because Horton Heard A Who,
And a brother’s gotta do what a brother’s gotta do.

-Tyler Martin, 2015

One for All

One for All

Walking down the grape jelly stairs,
There must be more than we can see,
Magenta orchids,

One for all,

Jamming into my right heel,
My life is just a fragment, a wooden splinter,
Of the Universe and all,

Have fun, as always,
Not everything is consequences to the fallen,
and I subsequently fall,

One for all. 

-Tyler Martin, 2015