Three Poems


The end of the world is so basic. Oh hey there’s Eugene. Hey Eugene! Recently she’s obsessed with death, she says. One death she studies is in manuscript template: Crowbar belle lettrist in a suite of marjoram. I’m sorry my bad, she says, it’s part of a school thing. We trod around the pastel coffee dispensary until the sun’s gone back into the little shit hole it flew out of. A pink Honda Accord falls out of the sky and craters the neighbor’s dugout. Cinder dust nestles into every upturned cup. Fuck Verizon. They owe me a grand on my next balance statement, Eugene screams with both her eyes mucused shut. Those little shits. Ruthless. A small Boston terrier succumbs to a wave of polyethylene recyclables churning between storefronts while we pull crumpled receipts from our back pockets and toss them into the rising sludge. A printing supply store combusts above a sinkhole. One guy unearths his stash of LaCroix tabs and runs toward a wall. I swear I’m not paying for another fucking thing, she says into her voice emulator and we cackle together as the animated mantis shrimp overtake the Waffle House nearby. That’s how I feel today too. Actually, that’s how I feel all the time, a sandstorm whipping plastic rods and cones across the unprotected territories while almost everyone bends down into a protective shell. Eugene rolls a joint and it looks like she’s saved the very best for last. Great paperwork. Right?



Rubber Flower

rubber flavor, rubber flavor in the mouth
rubber flavored, putting rubber in the mouth
Latex flavor, putting Latex in the mouth
a gift to self, geranium flavor
geranium flavor in the mouth, rubber fever
rubber flower in the mouth, self favor
rubbed inside the mouth, Latex flavor
rubber flower gift to self, Latex flavored
rubber plug, putting rubber into self
mouthing favor, Latex flower selfie stick
rubbed geranium, selfie glitter mouthless flower
rubber mouth, Latex favored
young and old bonding, taking money
rubber money flavor in the mouth
gift to self, Latex flower young and old again
rubber flavored, caution: hot selfie
mouth favors rubber over flower
young and old selfie, flower over mouth
putting rubber into self, geranium flavor
flower takes to self, germinating money
fewer flowers, selfless gift to rubber over
young and old again, putting Latex in the mouth
rubber flavor, caution: hot selfie
favorite flavor, mounting petals
a gift to rub inside the mouth, gift geranium
self cautions self over money, putting rubber into self
rubber money Latex flavor, hot plug into mouth
rubber geranium, fewer flowers
rubber flavor, rubber flowers in themselves
young and old again, running flowers out of money
self runs selfie into ground, soil flavor
gift to selfless flower, Latex in the mouth
mouth like money, rubber flowers
flowers put in self again, germinating rubber
Latex flavor, mouthless flowers, gloves
caution flower: young and old to self again
rubbing money, Latex flavor
putting flower into mouth, favored gift to flower
mouthing self



Puppy Posters

A production designer’s job
is to formulate environments that blend
seamlessly into the drama of their recording
puppy posters in the bedroom
a hot cup of coffee in the morning


NO Pomegranates!
the brilliant thing she
did was that she took
the setting of the show
what the walls looked like
the quarter round and trim
the 4-gang outlet plate and nickel knobs
I get a hot cup of coffee in the morning


NO NO NO NO NO Pomegranates!
and poured herself into
every square-inch around the set
the studio’s architecture agitating
the orientation of the good
and bad people in the room
the front of house cameras
background characters who would not sit
still in real life as seasons fell
into syndication smuggling
its dander of violence
within a color scheme
hot cup of coffee
I get a hot cup of coffee in the morning


NONE. I don’t want them anywhere near here. Am. I. Clear?
the details hemmed
out of setting are contiguous with
what the actors have been told
to feel and to express
the scaffolding of an emotional breaking
point puzzling over joy
extolled from a joyful location made
to look joyful where the bedroom
walls huddle like a choice
the viewers have already made
about the future
a cup of coffee
I get a hot cup of coffee in the morning


Say the rule again, NO pomegranates!
for instance the Die Hard
action thriller series slights both
anti-secular and non-sacred
spaces office tower air
ducts wintry church
grotto with white picket
fence and faces
inspires present day domestic policy
Shark Week another example where
sunbent blue diagonal lines pervade
underwater panning and global
shopping habits follow suit
hot cup of coffee in the morning
I get a hot cup of coffee
hot cup of coffee in the morning


Come on! Say it! NO POMEGRANATES!
it’s insipid to include
here how original
home improvement television
star Bob Vila—master of the cape
and neo-shingle style
whose calming but staged
renovations led the way to
and were eventually replaced by
shows about capital under
the guise of the colloquial and exuberant
phrase “flipping houses”)—is
remembered as a brand
a wall without books is dead flesh said
this Cicero who landed a marble enclave
affixed to the royal palace
in the since-tamed Volscian mountains
but you don’t flip a palace
you occupy it or you bomb it
you don’t flip extras
you invade the breath or accent
of their entombment which palms
rather than directs the viewers’
emotional response you build
a scaffold to diffuse it
this is what she taught us
puppy posters in the bedroom
hot cup of coffee
I get a hot cup of coffee in the morning


Brad Flis

Brad Flis was born and raised in Toronto. He now works and lives in San Diego. He wears his mask and keeps his distance.