Heir Apparent

Issue #45 April 2017

Let Me Be Laid | Amy Lawless and Chris Cheney

I can hear    the drum of my heart      the worm

turned down to zero    the befallen ass dial of a man

going straight to voice lessons   after school

i was approached by a sleepy woman  so tired

and beaten down that she was slurring   in her slur i could live

but i would only live for a short while

      Worm of my heart

I was apprehended by a constable       his eyes

half lidded  he wanted to know why

i wasn’t home   watching the election

i grimaced

i was living here for years among the grass and leaves  for seeming generations

mirrors lit up like stores  cameo necklaces

memories in grandfather clocks    


swaying like phiten necklaces on ball players

i was beaten down by    the gloved hand of new money

i was beaten into a new shape  the shape of conga drums

a conga line of parents  fathers and mothers mothers and fathers on vacation

      Irreversible vacation

Sand on sand on sand on sand

children learn to bury a hole with matching toy shovels

cardboard cutout     of an ocean view

in the windows of funeral homes

the cypress tree logo embroidered on employee’s tees  the employer is the customer

    the customer is dead     always

always   buried

is always the worm in my mezcal

my my my my  my    my hammock in the attic

my whiplash in a car rental

ocean worn rocks in my hand      waves of graves

      worm under glass odometer

warm my heart           row my canoe

    motion of masturbating

my my my my my

          my favored hand

the island I’m on  is      

      ancestral property       

what’s up for auction?     a neat pile

  just that something  pulling my shirt        

telling me to mind my affairs    slurring

  do you have nerve damage?     in your brain

headaches that make you bedridden

propped up on a pillow       one foot in front of the other

symbolic throws laid over the spiritual body

woven and embroidered in a frenzy

  the final months weeks   weekend  days

in assisted living facilities


with nothing to clutch onto   the sky massive   enduring  

sour cream in our persons

  behind each person     a smaller person


sifting out like smoke on a lake house

like cigarillo ash off the end of a cigarillo

fading     loose in the mouth

out of the blue    blue light before death

green fodder before death   

      Brown light before death

The white corona of light  the really good feeling of hitting all green lights

the circle stain on your dress    


your mother removes stains from your clothes with her saliva like her mother taught her to

in the middle of a conversation you’re interrupted by the hum of physical pain

nothing in my house can get rid of the rumbling deep vibrating hum I have in my left ear

it’s not a hum      it’s a really soft, tiny, tiny voice

changing in tone, salivating and froth like

i would guess it’s a bird call for spring

  it is   spring

it is   a séance

and friends and family have gathered

at the foot of my grave

my marble bust

i can’t hear the traffic

      The different kinds of fucking

The dead body has a very small, almost infinitesimal      gravity

but a graveyard   like greenwood cemetery

    the pull is considerable

enough to change the air flow and direction of a plane overhead

      How are you?

Good good

above ground

how are you?


this was our conversation

every morning for five years with the janitor at my school

he retired last year and was replaced by someone who won’t talk to me

i can’t control that