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Lish Ciambrone is an Illinois-born, Baltimore-aged, cheese wheel of a person: hard rind, extremely stinky, soft inside. Likes painting and poetry…. dislikes painting and poetry. Loves trucks and motorcycles. Proud Dad to Rex, certified Big Dog.

1 visual poem
by Lish Ciambrone



The traps have been set for months.

Though for years I have walked free

I never lost track of the bait and I never

go too far away.

Never leave a trap unattended.

I could practice non-attachment

or I could just                 detach.

So many bad remedies for heartbreak world

so many ways to say,

sterilize a wound.


The hallway has been empty for years.

Cold white tile, just in front of the closet.

On my belly I traced grey grout

to the scent of my father’s leather jackets.

The camcorder out of reach

The tiny flower wallpaper

No one was ever home.


No one home now.

What is there to do on dead father’s birthday

but pray

for the leather jackets also

long gone:

In time

might I hand our heavy sadness over

to the new head

of the department of memory.

She keeps moving the traps in the night.


Now it’s the couch I learned to fuck on,

the cloud covered afternoon I bit

my first shoulder: I saw stars

in freckle form.

There’s an omen for every dream

for every trap, a limb.


Could I have written the same eulogy

if he’d died today?

Would I say more or less

of his trespasses?

Would I tell the mourners

I can still smell him

Though he is gone and the closet is gone


The tile is gone.

The houses all gone all empty

The traps are everywhere

all wanting to be full.

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