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1 poem
by Stephanie Cawley

Stephanie Cawley is a poet in Philadelphia and the author of the books My Heart But Not My Heart (Slope Editions) and Animal Mineral (forthcoming YesYes Books), plus the chapbook A Wilderness (Gazing Grain Press). More at

The Thing (1982)

Art could be good and also bad.

Hard not to love a monster and a tank-topped hunk.

That’s camp, you say, stepping rock to rock.

I agree the hot dogs looked more appetizing as pink cartoons.

You could desire to cup, gently, a nice ass, not even sexual.

Missed connection with hot person wearing mustard hat in out of town deli.

I had to feel it in the throat, now, to call it “good.”

A movie with no women in it can be about women, flamethrower minor character and all.

Stuck in subtext, like honey, meaning fine about it, golden.

The monster considers a part as good as a whole.

When the doctor cuts the monster open it looks vaginal, can’t tell if that’s just me.

Had lost ability to track wink versus critique.

You said you prefer girls because they have, on average, cuter butts.

It was nice to feel nice, I did keep saying that.

I kept making excuses for my sticky hands, which I mostly kept to myself.

Understood another film to be quote-un-quote interesting, but kept checking the minutes left.

A poem could aspire to say something meaningful and then foam like warm beer.

Inside one man is another man, hotter, more jacked.

I wanted to see the monster one last time, even lit on fire.

I wanted the monster to live out her gross life, be made prom queen, wear a crown.

No one stays hot, you say, looking at the hunk’s present day face.

The deli sells something called the Three Pig Rambo, open bread stacked with meat.

Some metaphors are so obvious they’re not metaphors, just facts in costume.

Thinking of aging hunks, I remember the discs of bologna nailed to a wall, called art.

It’s warmer than we expected in here, the artist said, hence the smell.

If you understood you didn’t need a man for affection, think of what, to one, you might do.

Now that I don’t care about anything, I get hotter every day.

I prefer both because why not.

Unprovoked, the monster lives a very normal human-shaped life.

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