Abstract image with subtle texture in a mostly black palette with undertones of purple.
Abstract image with subtle texture in a mostly black palette with undertones of purple.
Image by author

a black hole that I keep in my pocket
the fight to hold oneself separate and sacred
above that which feels and hurts
I do not know how
save for the teaching of black mornings
paramecium moving of its own accord
ducks
repellent and perverse
diving through mock and mud
no books can teach this
we must come to it ourselves
see that there is a truth to be had
perhaps emerge strong and whole
clear-eyed
straight-tongued

but for the rest… I don’t know how to take the thorn from their side the knives from their hands the blinds from…


a poem

Photo of a desert landscape taken from the peak of a mountain.
Photo of a desert landscape taken from the peak of a mountain.
photo by author

Skeletons gather beneath my feet
dead rattle the land
as it succumbs to cheatgrass
red shot through white quartz
all things frozen
lust for sun.

Shoulders bare
my arms fly across the water
of ancient lakes I beseech
the earth to turn us toward a better time
when we do not fall as forgotten leaves
when the torrent becomes a watershed
we will grieve our crystalline visions?

A red stone means the mountain loves me each one a mineral kiss Noon serpent and his tongue tasting the day’s cloudy eye sage scented memories line my pockets as I…


Ode to John (A.) Barnard

Abstract painting in red and white, inspires sensual thoughts.
Abstract painting in red and white, inspires sensual thoughts.
detail of a painting by John (A.) Barnard from the author’s collection

When I wore the desert like a brown skin
darting about in a tiny dress
I collided with a brightly feathered bird named John
fishnets and lipstick
that never stayed put
the endless stream of
white buttered bread
sleazy eggs
fried in the fat of the bacon
and of course
bacon
crispy
we would eat this every day.

Snorting cocaine
blasting out large-scale
abstract paintings
raving about alien technology and 1970s porn
“a real artist”
thought 19-year-old me
wide-eyed dripping in fascination.

Marijuana kink talk chain-smoking cross-dressing obsessed by flesh-colored nylons tourist town diva he copulated with his canvasses invoking…


Composite image of a white cat, string of beads, a page of handwritten script, and a fractal design that resembles female genitalia.
Composite image of a white cat, string of beads, a page of handwritten script, and a fractal design that resembles female genitalia.
Image by author, derived from photos by Xanadu Xero and Julie Jablonski

I dream of the Pearl Queen
alone with her scent
orchid honey blood
painted toenails
perfect
deadlifting side-eye
flat on her back
a feast of coastal fancies
blade of Chardonnay
she crowns foolish people
with beads of warm light.

White rose cat
hair of gossamer clouds
who fell from the guf
with sky swept eyes
long straight nose
she is the mother of deer come to life
ocean’s daughter
on the shore of platinum geometry
born in the pulse of a decrepit diamond
hidden in the fullness of sight.

Throwing bits and bytes back and forth our mental fingertips graze…


Ode to Tristen

response to the prompt: what wounds look like as they heal

Composite image of a beautiful woman, a rocky shore and birds flying away in the distant sky.
Composite image of a beautiful woman, a rocky shore and birds flying away in the distant sky.
Photo of Tristen Noël by Greg Hoxsie, photo of Hawaiian rocky shore by Frank Pulaski, composite image by the author.

Tristen dancer
fire waif
the threads of our lives
woven close
like two sails on the same ship
savaged by the same storm
how did we become entangled?

In the dream
parts and debris
a blossom of impact
at the base of the cliff
your island elixir landed on my tongue
asleep in Seattle
our thoughts entwined
action at a distance
my bewilderment
unfolding years later
eyes made to see.

Tenderly unaware
how I was jealous of you
your tongues of magic
heart throbbing purple as the bruise of night
quantum elegance
born out in every angle of your face.


a response poem to the Scrittura Saturday prompt: party on

A photo of a wall in Mexico with peeling paint, where a flier was mostly torn away, but a piece of it with part of a woman’s eyes still remains.
A photo of a wall in Mexico with peeling paint, where a flier was mostly torn away, but a piece of it with part of a woman’s eyes still remains.
image by author

Before the hedonistic daybreak
youthful revelries carried her
across the Mexican border
without identification
and less than twenty dollars.

Dancing feet floated from bar to bar
shot glasses falling like dominoes
tequila, her only puppet master
carousing with long-dead spirits
the way home elusive
deferred.

Night tears the page of day to pieces
a litter of demon pups in pursuit
nipping at her heels
onto her scent
until
delirious at the gate
she antes up
prepared to go all-in
her smile an opening bid.

In the booth, he flexes and flashes tattooed bicep badge and gun she mentally fucks him…

Andrea Juillerat-Olvera

Interpreter, Teacher, Artist.

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