A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Alexis Pope

Silence The Trap 


Notebook  paper   fallen from  the  train / bridge  / nightheaving.    He  sighed  out  the halo.
Coated,    armed with the   moleskin.   Pocket-sized ambivalence. I did it all for you he  says.
Means might have. Water stains this way. Brief over the river.  Enough time to return a  text,
consider Jane’s Carousel. Reins through my jaw. Dreamed about rats last night. One rat. In
our hallway. A man says He got in through the front door.

Older   creatures,    emptied  or shut up.   Fasten  myself to  his  twin,  bull.   Hole  in  my  boot
growing.  What let in.   Much  affection,  not a bullet left in the bouquet.  Twizzle  thumbs, his
hand opened which means. Coke spoon. Vile of pasteled sand. Wear the necklace,
shape his
brows with silver. A holiday of pills. Nothing left to perforate.  

Second  Notice.   Fine haired girl.  Patron of  product placement.    His features dried to a leaf.
Salutations   in  a   systematic  goodbye note.    What torn and who.  Put  the  couch  away this
morning.  I mean  the  bed,   what  was  left.   Took my scarf from the storage container. Lock it
behind you he says. 





It’s not a choice
What we do in sleep
Mercy killing

3:06 A sprout of yellow 
Crowding the person
You don’t love

Emptying of thought
Can’t get to it all 
In one session 

How do you like it 
On top or from 
Wrist pressed flat

Your snow of tongue
To shave my legs

Today less air pressure 
In my job search
More realism

In my twelve dollar 
Milkshake my glut 
Money spends better 

Than if I aged my skin with labor
I age my skin w/ labor
Every day 

New death certificates 
Print Monday
On my throat 

Fill out the paperwork 
An earthy sheen
Without reading

Never done my research
Under your tongue
How remorse tastes 

Like fennel I imagine
The bottom of my love
Returns each morning

With the toast
Serenity blend plus honey wait
For enough flavor 

Center my hips
For the work
KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Identity depends upon
Health benefits
An extra two hundred

To burn the death in
A vintage shade of blue
Non-working fireplace

Oh hi beautiful little dark
My tea / my ritual
Movement in my chest

Reminds me  
A track pad developed 
For my particular pressure

Sensory details
I trace the Google map 
Of how I got here

Little girls / whirling their skirts 
About / until they stand flat
So this weight in my belly 

Explains I am a woman 
Above the fridge
Now there is nothing 

You can steal from me
Containers with possible
Use someday a hand searching

My skirt for follicles 
Leftovers: another box
Inside there sits a threat

Of odor in this cab ride 
Growing older as the fare 
It’s a little magic trick

The lover taken against
A wall / mauve flowers
Liter box of wine holding

Myself against a stranger
On the Q   
Pole between us

Velocity of coming
To a halt
Don’t tell me

I was never very good
At Monopoly only Sorry
So things are pretty 

Much the same
Only this body 
Of water is dying

Or is dead 
Already a constant
Drip to the flood

Clue underneath 
This part of me 
I’ve never fully owned


Alexis Pope is the author of Soft Threat (Coconut Books, 2014) which was selected for the Cargill First Book Prize, as well as three chapbooks. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver QuarterlyWashington
NO Dear, and Forklift Ohio, among others. She lives in Brooklyn. More at

I started a collection of souvenirs for my daughter. Sometimes poetry requires that I leave her to go to readings, tours, conferences, et al, so each new place I visit I find a snowglobe-ish piece to add to her collection. There are the classic snowglobes with small monuments under glass and glitter, but my favorite is a shark's tooth on sand under a kind of fun-house glass. The tooth can look larger or smaller while suspended in whatever keeps it hanging in the center. There's also one filled with dried flowers, all dark colors (browns, grays, deep mauve) and a little creepy. Sometimes we'll go over where I got each one (Pittsburgh, Seattle, Puerto Rico, Muncie, Akron, things like that). It's nice because it lets her know I was thinking of her (always) and helps me remember where I've been and what I was doing. However, this might not always be the case, so I should probably start writing down & taping the city where each piece hails from.