Heath Brougher

The 14 of Spades

In the density of pitchy night you find yourself
scrubbing off the blood between your fingertips.
You are the riot star giving out riot scars to the people
you killed among the constructive vandalism
and oaken semen as you effortlessly pick a fight
with a man-eating orchid on the moon. 
You’ve already killed the Joke-Man
in the Hawaiian Straightjacket. Everyone is beseeching you
to screw off your thumb in order to stop this
endless war before they all lose their minds but you won’t.
You’d rather put your lips to the landmine
in the spoiled despair of your life which can only be seen
when the Karmascope peers deep into your skin and sees
your sincere devotion to violence is caused mainly
by your broken suicide machine. Stuck in this insidious
post-postindustrial world of rivers full of babies and bathwater.
You scream the infection straight down their throats
as you throw your intimidation around like a green elephant
wearing a top hat while walking upon a beachball
just as the banana split poker game is always split
right down the middle. An icicle prison cell is quite easily escapable. 
What is most scary in life among these maniacs
is when the cancer won’t cancel and your shadow begins to detach
from your body. Twigbones and itchy horses ask which way
to the broken sky and all you have to do is tell them to look
at the asteroid on the horizon burning down pipelines
and melting diamonds now liquified and bathed in
as the eyes of the cello begin to speak of oceans ripe with shale
and toxified mush that was once water. A xylophone of so many fishbones.


Heath Brougher is a Best of the Net Award Nominee and his work has been translated into journals and anthologies in Albania and Kosovo. He was the judge of Into the Void’s 2016 Poetry Competition and he edited the anthology Luminous Echoes, the proceeds of which were all donated to an organization which helps prevent suicide/self-harm. He is the author of About Consciousness (Alien Buddha Press), To Burn in Torturous Algorithms (Weasel Press), and has 3 other forthcoming collections. His work has appeared in Taj Mahal Review, Chiron Review, MiPOesias, Word For Word, Cruel Garters, Lotus Eater, Loch Raven Review, Crab Fat, BlazeVOX, and elsewhere.