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3 Poems by Eric Paul


Burnside Park
Providence, Rhode Island
 
 
Every Saturday morning
at the park near my house
swollen women arrive and
explode all over the grass.
Armies of tiny bodies crawl
from the clutter and scream
like boiling lobsters – while
fathers wait with fresh supplies,
grandparents carve new
names into a family tree,
and teenagers hang themselves
from swing sets, with dog leashes
all are unaware of the black
clouds fleeing their mouths
as the overcrowded city
built on loneliness
catches fire again.
 
______________________
Cheap Rent
 
 
Outside, hookers with poke and stick tattoos, whose clothes are dirty and tight slip in and out of cars in the dark. Two teenagers shove each other on the corner. A man with a shopping cart full of plastic dolls shouts at a fire hydrant, barks at the feral dogs. The pile of trash becomes a monument and the chalk outlines get up and walk away. We’re startled each time a kid throws a rock through anything made of glass. We listen with elephant ears to the strange languages falling from windows while the neighbor on the left side beats up his girlfriend and the one on the right beats himself off. Scared as children, we watch from the crack between shade and sill. We look to the overflowing sink, to the wise toilet that howls. We look to each other. How can we swallow this moonlight? How can we trade our skin for streets signs? How can we haunt these streets with those?
 
____________________
 
Without Her
 
I was a heap
of sloppy organs
left behind
on a delivery room floor.
I was to be hosed
down a drain.
Forgotten. But soon a body
would be pieced together
from the skin and bones of men
my new lover dreamt up and killed.
 
_________________________
Eric Paul is a writer and musician from Providence, Rhode Island. He is the lyricist and vocalist for various experimental musical acts including: Arab On Radar, Chinese Stars, and Doomsday Student. Eric has released over ten albums and has been touring worldwide for over fifteen years. He is currently earning his M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University.