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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Basement Breeding Owls for Beginners; Inner Soul Honeycomb

By: 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 down

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.


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