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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

It's August; Rack and Rolls. Thursday Night

By: Tyler Pufpaff

It's August

and you’re breaking up with your girlfriend. you tell me something you have never told your closest friends. am I your closest friend? we fuck on the floor and i pull your head to my chest. you weave your body into mine. i’m holding you and it’s like seeing a firefly blink in and out; some warm enchantment—then, I don't know where you are even though you’re with me. sometimes, there’s a glow of heat but i’m always hot. Devilman Crybaby is on. you don’t care. you’re sad and no one is crying

Rack and Rolls. Thursday Night

they say a billiard crannies defeat

when indigo joins key-lime and only

the eight ball stays. reminisce on the baize;

memory nearby like an old crony.

umpteenth victory on the precipice

chalks a history easy to erase—

everyman frolics: to had loved, to

love, to be loved: this unpocketed space

cues the cue. call-shots begging the answer.

yet, a salvo of happiness for all—

a diamond in every direction;

thereof, defeat too whorls forth unequalled.

ask yourself: how do you know that the shot

isn’t for nothing. that felicity can’t appropriate from being fraught


Tyler Pufpaff is the author of A Quarter Life and Editor-in-Chief of Variant Lit. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crepe & Penn, Coffin Bell, Poke, Havik, perhappened, and The Daily Drunk Mag among others.

Behind the scenes (Rack & Rolls.Thursday night):

I had just read The Man in Bogota by Amy Hempel—which has since gone on to be a story I read & share with others during times of great loss—where the perspective that good could come from even the bad times is presented and it was just such an impressing story for me at the time that I wanted to reiterate it somehow. The sonnet felt appropriate because I could utilize a volta to say: hey! but did you think about it like this? and then I just had fun filling in this scene at a pool hall. Pool inherently has lots of outcomes and every game will be different. In this poem we don't know what the stakes are or the players involved and I imagine it differently every time. Maybe it's nothing more than winning $10 or perhaps you would never have had a drink at the bar and fallen in love if you hadn't lost.


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