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2 poems

by Sarah R. Stockton

Sarah R. Stockton writes, teaches, and works in Los Angeles. She is a creative writing MFA candidate at CalArts.


an ekphrasis after Hammer Projects: Max Hooper Schneider

After we broke the passenger-side mirror for the third time, having

brushed it against the matching protuberance on a local’s sedan, we

ceased our efforts of taking it to Seng Auto Body on Sunset, and

decided to reattach it ourselves. We blinkered over to Target to buy

epoxy, insidious in the lightweight auto aisle, and the mixture adhered to my

fingers in the carport. But it worked! And we kept the syringe in the

gully between the front seats, in case the mirror came undone from the

hill breezes. Well, predictably, it sprung a leak, and our lives’ debris

(itemized receipts, Hot Cheeto nubs, tear/snot stains) formed a

jelly that then formed a laminate, and preserves our junk in

kilny gloss to this very day. The smell: petrol and its progeny,

lubricant, machine memory. And today we walk parallel,

meandering through fumes in a gallery box, a contained

nature under plastic, baked to iridescent in New Mexico sun.

Oh look look look—you pssting behind me—fiddlehead fern-

person, elephant-trunk phallus, crushed-up Red Sox watch.

Quavering on the speaker: whale songs and SONAR pings,

rending human howls, a synth auto-consuming. Is there always

so much screaming? I ask the museum guard. Like, are you good?

There are other exhibits without screaming, he says. He doesn’t

understand. You come alongside, show me your photos, not

violated by the sounds. And I too am solidifying under the

waxy residue of your body fluids, becoming preserved, exact and

exquisite. We are covered in trinkets and cloth, flesh leaking carbon and

yielding to touch, awaiting the great

zap of the actual.


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