Basement Breeding Owls for Beginners; Inner Soul Honeycomb

Travis Moore

Basement Breeding Owls for Beginners


If love is a hit parade of borrowed songs born in the age of cannonballs that

have remained faithless to the oats, and not a simple communal requiem for the sun

smote knee of an equestrian adjusting her riding boot to catch a crimson leaf, then

why do we rise after an all-night embrace to paste legs to a nation as if we’re

unfamiliar with the lonely parable of the dumbed down swan who wins the stone? In

other words where did you stand when you were turned mute to the herd of choir by

the one who kissed your future shut? Did you make time beforehand to catch the

moon admiring her reflection in the black husk of an autumn leaf bag? Ignore the

storybook directive and fold up your jack knife, carving lover in the skin of the

chestnut tree is a day one calf with no discernible coda, no silver pitcher dropped in

the trampled tulip bed, it’s the preamble to a woe, a negative embrace in the render

zone. I’ve been told that the thousand tiny hammers that spin the embryo of a rose

will stall mid-pivot when confronted with a choice between a string of assorted

trinket beads and the capricious permutations of an abandoned birthday balloon

picnic primed before release. In a recent act of conspicuous bravery I’ve begun eating

snow cones in front of Elizabethan mirrors so it looks as though I’ve won the race, and

that my impatience concerning the urban fawn licking the handle of a half-buried

broom beside the community faucet is just a simple childlike interlude before I bend

to accept the strap, the buckle, and the wreath.





Inner Soul Honeycomb


parade milk and baby’s sneeze in the parlor of vast epitomes, bobbi-pins populate hay

bales in the time of conquerable berries and invisible ballistics of sighs and held notes

by the punch bowl, ponytails deftly constructed sotto voce in math class, blue skirts

caught in Cadillac doors, porcelain roses with blinking bulbs singing village mystical to

the moon in the aural stylings of Marilyn Monroe half a Quaalude to the costume room


the boozy math of love is a playful landing of forest feet quickly taking the space of

our stare


but in the half-life of nascent affection defined as fondness I recall the collateral

detritus left by The Lifting of the Mouths, and its life-sized mimetic occurrences:

poorly executed suicides half complete and petal-bent on the bridge post, a torn tie

broken steeple dove chase, a cowboy void of Cola, unsure of where he set his girl



death by dry mouth in the basement of the wintergreen gum conclave


and I’ll admit I do enjoy the crimson creations we bend to because my hand has

loosed a braid in reverence to the last lilac to touch the fence post, because I pout

over an unraveled basket while a peripatetic sparrow builds her doomed Disneyland in

the hair of a felon revisiting the hometown disco, because I’m fragile as a premature

thorn violating a dew drop, alone and weightless when everyone abandons their wine

to fold the corners of the corpse flower, and recite the alphabet of loose ribbons in

tempest linguistics of gale and variable breezeways, a bullied apple core comes

forward as the sole witness to the first set of cheekbones approaching the sound of a

robin bumping into a dandelion in the shadow of a park bench and one hissing child,

listen now for the incantations spelled by ingénues captivated by the floozy hallway

stumble required to locate a misplaced plastic ash tray


nice kiss, you restless fugitive





Travis lives in Fargo, ND, where he records the movement of the sun with a paring knife. He is perpetually haunted by the stinging reaction of his neighbor when he broke their clay flower pot while trying to retrieve his fleeing house canary. He's a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead.

"In "Basement Breeding Owls for Beginners" I was inspired to write as a kiss coaxed down from the high-dive by a very familiar voice. A voice I loved, a voice I breathed in at one time.

"Inner Soul Honeycomb" I wrote while observing the Friday night rot of lollipop affection, to bring the dried out water-well of a head in love to the rain dance of the reader, to share a symptom."