Three Poems

Under Cover

Extolling the virtues of theft

Meaning makes less in a week than

Your masterpiece is for smashing

Porcelain pink panther

Punching a canvas til it’s money

We listened to ArtPop and dream what could’ve been

Genderqueer porn suggesting sexy BBQ

A banana is a bandana is sometimes not

An orange pool toy glowing

In our brain barely there tiger print bandeau

I wanted something lasting I wake up

With a black and blue eye

No gods no masters cannot see where we stand

No need for a period, finish them

For Joseph Bradshaw

The gap between mainstream and independent brands

Is not as striking as diastema, a co-opted uniqueness

Thigh highs, black CBD pen, ponyhair wedges

How much we spend logged on the rings of the giving tree

I will be a false glue, made for you

Rick Owens, Ramones, ASAP

‘Dizzy as the green of currency’

Jennifer Lopez in the cell, ‘his mind is her prison’

When I was young we wanted ginger

Curls, freckles, reading glasses a refusal of tall

Dark and handsome though still scared of the thought

A doll could come alive we sleep in the basement beside

A curio cabinet filled with porcelain figurines

Whose paleness compressed to blush is so uncanny

What makes one an American Girl

Is a song to sing on a road to nowhere

Petty, the security of this vintage, how it will hold you so tight

It’s cutting off the blood flow

Can we blush and be comfortable at the same time?

A theory for nascent dread and impulsivity online

Descending into the psyche

“buff serial killer rocking braces”

haute couture where our gore is modeled in four dimensions

‘The hoax of memory,’ the hoax of daddy

Au Currant

‘I created myself to death’

In that I barely waited for an opening

Waiting to speak though I couldn’t really say that

you said anything at all

We ignore the history of representation

verities, forget-me-nots

Some great abstract secret still

defiantly dependent on the crush

I serve the base you know

Nervous precursor to a glow paint party

Where the anticipation is killing me

We wriggle into the fire

Wallflowers to this Apollonian morning

Exhausted, tan and downtrodden

Our petals unfolding a reconstructed sweater

A torso of two

impossible animal prints and greensleeves

reimagining the Frost line around freedom

How Venus always works without a net

Using color as a modifier the meek will inherit

That shit has made

all the difference in the world

Jamie Townsend

Jamie Townsend is a genderqueer poet and editor living in Oakland. They are the author of the poetry collections Shade (Elis Press, 2015) and Sex Machines (speCt!, 2020). They are also the editor of Beautiful Aliens: A Steve Abbott Reader (Nightboat, 2019) and Libertines in the Ante-Room of Love: Poets on Punk (Jet Tone, 2019). With Nick DeBoer they curate Elderly.