Friday, November 30, 2007

"Throwing A Life Preserver"

for Alfaro I fell asleep On the airplane With your words Imbedded in my brain Taking hold Expanding Until the cadence Of your voice Was intertwined I awoke with words Catapulting forward How can such wings Be strong enough To carry the weight At such a slow speed? I awoke to pressure Between my ears Air pressure Word pressure A third pressure To find something On which to write It all down! The plane climbs Invisible stairs In the air The attendant Pierces me As I reach For my bag I take the magazine From the seatback Scribbling words Across the South Georgia Island Thoughts across Russia Mongolia to China And Micronesia Until I have reached The end of the world With your words On my brain Your voice in my ear A faceless, soundless voice That won’t leave Me alone. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Silenced Press 11/07

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Step Lightly on the Forest Floor"

Pushing up from the loam, from the self-induced darkness temptations oscillate above me in attempts to stunt the growth of walls constructing/deconstructing around my core. Somehow I imagined the absence of light and voices, filled with gentle words, sifted through fences, might diminish me back into reality. But it only covers me in a fine layer of dirt rich in conflict laced emotions, and sometimes I feel left to the obscurity, only noticed in fits of automatic need that satiate curiosity or buffer the pain of loneliness. And you make light about the condition of my keep, left in the dark sustained on shit, and I laugh with you only because it is true. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


She only holds hands until the second crosswalk and then the warmth of tiny fingers floats away without care; This large hand left grasping at fog already cool from her absence. It starts the morning ritual, inspecting the fringes of sidewalk for slugs, keeping meticulous count on eager fingers, prepared to move beads on the abacus hanging in front of her eyes. They are cataloged by size and thickness until the final count has been reached, until the flower beds draw her in with colors and dew, and she flawlessly moves on to spider webs. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Agua 2007

"New Ideas that are not New"

The red-haired boy rings around an oak tree filling his curiosity like a pail left out in the rain, each droplet providing a transfer of energy bent on lighting up his face. Little by little it creeps up from his chin pulling muscles into a smile, cheeks livening with the pink of new ideas and eyes pop open in wonder as the most important man in his life tips his head around the trunk. A chase ensues. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Olly, Olly Oxen Free"

This forest is thick with haves and have nots, heavy with could be's, drenched in the evenings lingering dreams. I see him around the tree hiding and holding his breath, shushing the sound of his heart beating louder that fists swung in a rage. He finds that place where it quiets and limbs relax into the bark and sounds have silence under their tongues. And I cannot stand to watch it so easily attained, this restraint and knowing of concepts that have always been my crosses to bear, with their heavy hands upon me, no intensions of sharing the burden. So I leave him there backed into his tree, in his sounded silence, his miraculous resolutions of heart, and slip into the dark. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Erbacce 2/08

"Quiets in the Sound"

I open my door to the fresh of morning, a wisp of fog still hanging loosely around the burning bushes and it is there I find a head of stone, Its sweet face meticulously carved into the gray. I run my fingertips over the features smooth and life like, and I think of your face when I close my eyes, pausing a moment at the lips, sigh my heart into your mouth. I turn its heaviness over in my hands, rough and uncut save a symbol gouged into a smoothing that tells me of paradox in tiny glyphs and marks, sings to me “Twinkle, twinkle like a star does love blaze less from afar?” out of the peaks of rough stone that remind me of the sea, and I add my salt to its body willingly. The creator etches his secrets into the granite knowing it will hold them, knowing the surface is stronger than most men, that words in their simplicity can pluck so tender at the strings of a heart until it quiets in the sound. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Meant to be Broken"

Driving down the highway into a rising fog thick from the river, and I feel stuck inside my brain; thinking of the force your will pushes me with, how it punishes me into humility. Moving around the bend faster than the limit, grinding random rules between my teeth, their acrid taste scares me because I cannot get enough, and the sun bursts sideways through the density turning everything white. I feel your hand, cool and smooth, softly wiping away the condensation of my fear. Your skin wet with the heaviness of me, with the residue of my emotional explosions, rabid dog obscenities and lack of control. You touch my chaos to your mouth and it taints the waters between us. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Debris Magazine 7/08


I sit and wait in silence today under a canopy of spider webs laden with summer’s furtive capture. The old fat men lazy in their hammocks take in what is left of their lives. The world seems alive today, more than yesterday, with prospects of discovery cajoling me. The bobbing of goldenrod releases pollens sure to induce future miseries, and leads me to believe their musty odor is something to be relished as the garnering of autumn. But more so, it is the wind speaking to the trees, curling its chilled tongue full of secrets and whispers, around the leaves, transforming the color of the world, coaxing them into slumber like a maiden fair. Some part of me yearns for this kiss of permanent sleep that would find me suspended in the fine mist between reality and dreams until the taste of spring thaw drips unto my lips, lingering there like a prince beholden of beauty resting in silence under a canopy of spider webs. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Angle of Arms"

She finds moments when their bodies are close together, skins in light sweat sticking with feverish tension as she guides the young girl’s arm through a perfect forehand; Her sex rubbing against the flounce of a tennis skirt; The friction of her breasts pushing into a delicate back during the follow through. These things are all too tempting, as she plies this young thing, this child into a bleeding story speaking of star-crossed and forbidden lovers telling tall tales about the differences between them, their strength more than the world can handle. Though the span of their ages is greater than the sum of the girl’s years she cannot change the desires or the love buried inside her as she lowers her face into sweetness and innocence to taste that which was never hers to begin with. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by False Eye Beetle 2007

"Faces of Old Men"

Cultural smells threaten the air with temptations creating a hostile war zone in my gut as I run my fingers along spiked iron bars confiscated by rust beneath the surface, chipping away at the infrastructure. The tepid water sprayed from the green hose wets my arm, skin reaching and pulling towards petals imprisoned in spaces between rectangles, trapped in two-dimensional skirts of fabric tragically shapeless. The sound of tread from two wheels and four kissing the pavement, dissolves into beats of bass that push shoulders back and cock arms stiff in a show of cool. Leather faces, imparted with yellow smiles, gaps in the mouth letting the world enter of its own accord, letting tongues slip through as if made of ocean salt pushing through ragged coral, only to be wiped clean by the hands of age and sun. I am an illegal alien with a swelling in the core, taken by realities, unfolding inside myself, watching the transformation of the human condition in smiles and eyes. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"How Deep It Is"

Her head slumps forward in the wheelchair, chin accusing the mouth of drooling too much, and he pushes her steadily looking around at the grayness, at anything but the line of spittle from her lips and is lost in a far off look of sadness that mirrors hers. There is love between them though hidden and morphed over years of illness, memory loss ,and time. The sweetness of it now faded on the tongue, as she no longer knows his name, or her own. It is the scraping of her sneakers echoing off the glass buildings filled with pretty things she won’t remember or maybe did not even see. The black smudges digging grooves into her white tennis shoes with fateful resistance tell the biggest story, of how things push her against her will and how she is left with silent arguments between body parts for company. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"When It Falls Away"

My body is curious, transparent like air, invisible molecules undergoing fission and fusion in rapid succession as October drills in through the windows with the sounds of my bird on the playground entertaining the German girl from next door with loud spoken stories she will never understand; And autumn is flashing her bosom blushed in jacinth and cinnabar, the foothills alight in the slow burn rising into the blue. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Women spend their time whittling away his heart, soft as soap, each tender word slicing curls of lye and fragrance so easily melted with careless, warm tears. It is their American sensibility, inbred ideals of wasting, of unending abundances, of grasses greener in another pasture while the seeds of his heart prepare to germinate with only the thought of a gentle touch, so willingly cultivated by glances ripe with desires promised. But these women do not understand the chemical composition of something as fragile as soap, as love, something so simple and pure with its powers to cleanse all that is tainted, to hold them upward into rebirth, into the sun that rises above the morning fog hanging heavy over their lids. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Munyori Poetry Journal 10/07

"Beating Her Chest"

I tell my heart to shut up, stop lingering where she doesn’t belong, beating in directions she shouldn’t for the sake of morality and social customs, but she never listens to me, never turns an ear to the voice of reason, never can remember each time she has been cut and stabbed or stolen from the wrinkled edge of my green shirt sleeve. She calls out my name, yelling about personal freedoms and how I never let her spread her love around. How I keep her caged for the properness of it, and she raises her fists to the chains that bind her fast to one lonely soul for all eternity. She begs me to understand that feeling love makes it real despite my glooming cloud of self-made guilt hovering over us both. She starts beating her chest again, hard and fast so I cant ignore her; Reminds me that love never dies or shrivels or stays in one place for very long, but each time I find it lying on my doorstep, on the radio, in the grass, on his face, in her eyes, on a kiss that the rush of it can still overwhelm me, the warmth of it feeling as good as the first time it was tasted. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Munyori Poerty Journal 10/07

"The Horai"

At the horizon line the sky is the color of summer skin touched with delicate jet trails crossing patterns into the thinning atmosphere. They whip stitch the clouds together, building the blanket of coming winter. I gather it to my chin. The moon hangs petulant, a silver sickle beheading the crowns of the Horai, scattering them among the rising stars, barely perceptible above the curves of the highway. The high road leans like a well built woman in repose, slicing the faded light with her hips, thick with sin and destruction I drive into willingly. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Mt. Llullaillaco"

She is Aclla, virgin of the sun, ripe at fifteen for sacrifice plucked from the horde of girls stabled with honor in the House of Chosen Women. The capacocha ritual deemed highest honor to a family and most sacred, is a journey that could claim more than the lives being offered, more than a virgin’s blood set to appease Incan gods to stave off the release of thick fire upon crops and cattle. The girl is frozen in a state of perfection with head bowed, dark hair skillfully plaited by mothers hands, strands falling over her shoulders, pieces lingering in front of her face touched in red pigments made from earth and berry. A dusting of coca leaves encrusted to her upper lip eases the pain of her sacrifice. And her body is bent like a bow, shoulders shrouded with the Iliclla, its’ brilliant red stripes clasped to her breast with hand turned silver. Legs are crossed, hands in her lap resting over her asco as if in prayer lost atop this icy pit, a crater formed from times the gods had no virgins. One looks at her face wondering if she tasted the salt laced into the ice as it fell on her pretty head 22,109 feet above the world. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


The prospect of sleep is dangerous and unpredictable, legs moving his body a ghost in the night, eyes blind and turned brain awakened to faces hovering on the underside of his lids. He is stripped naked of control and still, nimble feet traverse steep stairs leading him to small dark spaces crouched in the corner, a filthy cur his face in high fever with lines streaming from his fingertips stained in thick black charcoal. In the light, sheets twisted about legs like knots, he finds faces of women, arms, legs, breasts, lips etched into paper with delicate and intimate precision; the only evidences of his dissonance are ebony fingers and throbbing skull. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Complications of Love"

My day is made up of little cuts and digs drizzled with rubbing alcohol and he is oblivious to the way it stings me, damages me, even when told. He is blinded by the parameters of the fence he’s built around my love, around me to keep me from moving too far out of mediocrity. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Agua 2007

"Too Much To Ask"

Is it too much to ask to find women with a bit of meat and grit? Women who make me a better person for just being in their presence. Women who have courage and fortitude while still remaining soft in all the right ways. Women who talk with their hands and eyes as well as with their mouths. Women who aren’t afraid to be crude, to channel their inner male. Women who give a hug worth falling into. Women who have flaws, sweet embraceable chinks in their physical armour. Women who love so much it hurts them, but they cant stop. Women who have brains, and use them instead of hiding behind beauty and easily duped men. Women with freedoms and liberties and hearts. Is it too much to ask to find women with a bit of meat and grit? Aleathia Drehmer 2007


My mind constructs the perfect shoulder to cry on, broad and strong with collarbone sharp as a blade running up through the soft cotton of his imaginary blue shirt. His neck lean and muscular with the propensity to hide a face streamed with tears, soft sobs absorbed into the skin as their salts mingle. The warmth of his arms encircles me, heavy and anchoring so I cannot float away into the gray sky like a child’s balloon that has slipped from a tender wrist unknowingly. And in this grip I understand just how full my shell has become with the collection of useless words and ambitions, dreams unapproved by his majesty, so I agree to carry it still despite the murmuring in my ear, this imaginaries voice, whispering truths about the weight a hurt mother puts on the minds of us all. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


Marcel said, “I’m carving oceans, sweetheart” as the blade of his knife slashed through the air splitting electrons, reshaping space and time with eyes taped over to save them from the light. The earth ripped, formed canyons filled with hallowed ranting, the force of the blow enough to bleed salt from the soil until it filled with the powers of submersion and watery subversions, too many temptations to be ignored. I tell Marcel, “It is there you will find me swimming.” Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by The Facebook Review 10/07

Monday, September 10, 2007

"If Only We Were In California"

Behind abandoned buildings found through a maze of shifting alleys without outlets, you are my Manson, I your Crenwinkle sitting in the dark cross-legged, high on smoke and the adventures spilling from your mouth; stories so tall and absurd they are nearly believable. I watch the theatrics of your hands, convinced, coupled with your cold hard, unflinching stare realizing how the power of suggestion moves wayward girls. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Zygote in My Coffee Print #4


The properties of my flesh intertwine in the invisible worlds encircling the space around my head. You move there, hovering over me with ideas reckless, off the cuff, and dirty. You pull it all in, stroke it with your fingers, calloused and crude, to just let it sift through the spaces in your heart. Tiny seeds of injustice and lust germinate with the electricity coming from your mouth. They are plumped by your tongue, by your blood stained words and grow perfect ecosystems of beasts in brackish waters, forged by money and the filth of man, and you chain me to these possibilities of change with the touch of your hand. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"The Funeral March"

A bee falls in mid flight, days numbered from the beginning of inception, and it is this moment when all matters of energy change hands. Troops of ants in their neat fastidious lines, methodically plying the infinitesimal structures of another species from its still beating heart, taking death to make life, carrying a weight in their jaws, (a milligram may as well be a mountain) and this becomes the burden of their own life span. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"West Coast Light"

I dream in west coast light, bathe in Pacific breezes with sea foam pouring from my mouth, tiny white clouds, pieces of me easily dissolved into tears when the rains come to pull down the canyon walls; when they come too late to put out the flames of my summer fueled desires, and I awake to the sound of hard northern winds, spiked with sharp needles of icy rain, and there is no sun for my head until I find the time to dream again. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Hobo Camp Review 3/09

"And Truths Were Spoken"

Her limbs at right angles to the sides of the bed, lavender sheets the color of spring dusk, and her body rests in it unsettled, devoured by lucid dreaming, tortured with words of another formed in harsh tones. Pain is condensation on the high brow with strands of chlorine-stained hair plastered askew making a death mask. She is awakened by lips taking of her flesh not willfully given; the sensation akin to desperate grasping to take back something stolen in the name of property and posterity. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


We are separated by one hour and twelve minutes, a geographic closeness finding us expelled from different mothers, but somehow alike in matters of disposition and soul. You are the parts of me I keep tucked under the shell, the parts that sting eyes when seen, those that burn a finger's touch, the kiss that scorns loves presence. Your stare tells me everything I need to know about pain and suffering, the vulnerability of man despite tough exteriors, and hands that brush off attacks hoping for exclusion from the truth, but at the heart of our connection, the place where palms graze each other in passing, we find the essence of our beings constructed of the same thread weaved inward over time. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Guard Dog"

Microscopic knives pierce holes into my flesh as the words you utter find their way through me, imperceptible to the masses but wrapped in arsenic that seeps to my heart. Your love sits in the corner on guard, a growling, seething junk-yard dog that I do my best to ignore, in hopes that you will just disappear in the froth and hatred from your mouth. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"What Lies Beyond The Night"

A breath of wings as the owl scourges the night, its eyes of light reflecting like glass jewels, talons tipped in bloodstones, grasping branches of trees standing straight in the absence of roots. They are mere vertical bones that sleep in darkness like prodigal daughters in white silk sheets, while rivers of snow twisting into water seep beneath them, skin untouched by elements and labors. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Wings of Icarus 9/07

"Invisible Hatreds"

Grandmother takes the needles from the pine bough, threads them with invisible hatreds, each cotton string dipped in a fine coating of shames. She holds me in contempt of the old ways, working her needles into the core of what makes me a woman, a flower. She stitches together the earth and metal, connects them to the wood and sets them on fire. The water flows over her hands sewing swiftly the losses and taunting fingers pointed in laughter, getting more embittered by the minute. She absolves herself of the burdens placed upon her own head, by her grandmother, empties into me the daggers laid into her for not being a sun. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published Munyori Poetry Journal 10/07


Sometimes the weight of one solitary word (situation) is enough to sink me under the surface, the water slowly engulfing the openings of my skull, the muddy line seamless to my skin, ghost kisses to eyelids like a death so yearned for, yet mourned as well. But it is this stone of a word (situation) on my brain that slips me down as if it were a room to hide my desires, a place to store my tears in jars with lids sealed, my heart in a viewing glass spectators watching it beat evenly and lonely, circulating the blood of creativity in infinite loops never touching beyond the idea. (situation) Aleathia Drehmer 2007


He sits there with his lion of a heart, burning the dove with its virginal breast bleeding in the mouth, ivory fangs sinking into the flesh deep, piercing something undeniably good, until the breath is escaped. This worn, misshapen hand reaches, unable to release the clenching jaw, its destruction visible from this place, where I am wrapped in bubblegum ideals and false pretenses of hope. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Wings of Icarus 9/07

"Pencils and Paper"

It is a race to the school bus stop, though there is plenty of time. She jaunts five steps ahead of me, doesn’t look back or wait. The prospect of sharing secret giggles, learning rhymes, clapping hands, making moony faces at boys trying to win their favor, if for just a moment, and etching out rudimentary faces in crayon, all appeal to your nature. There is some part of me shaking uncontrollably inside, over the fact that I am no longer the center of your universe, that I am less interesting than pencils and paper, no longer captivating now that wheels turn and carry you into social circles to a boy named Robert. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Cerebral Catalyst 9/07

"Native Tongues"

All of their languages swirl around our heads each morning like smoke hanging above water, and we soak our faces in the lilts and inflections of their native tongues straining to understand. These differences do not phase Chloe, she doesn’t recognize discrepancies of skin and eyes and voices like I was raised to notice. And for me, I sit there engulfed, listening to the mothers talking rapidly but soft, with my eyes closed and travel to lands beyond my reach, to find a light hidden in the children, something special and true about the borderless limits to their laughter. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Amarillo Bay 2/08

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Magic To Be Found"

for Edward “I only really feel alive when I’m on the poem,” he tells me, ”the rest of the time I’m waiting to write.” I think about how words take over me, seduce me until I am a writhing puddle on the floor, people walking passed me indifferent to my pain. “I groan and hold my head, can feel them between my lungs,” he says. And I picture him sitting there tortured, with anguish dripping from his face, onto his chest, hand clutching the place where the words claw their way out. “The pen can’t move fast enough to take away the knife,” I tell him through wires and light, wondering if the blood on my blade is his. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by LitUp Magazine 4/08

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Things She Will Never Know"

You tell me about your affinity for Puerto Rican boys as I paint your face with makeup while your girlfriend is at work. Innocently, you speak of delicious caramel skin, eyes black as night, lips soft like pussy willows, and lean muscular shapes of bodies that you grip as you slide into them. Your eyes dash downward from mine telling me this. A half smile starts the flush rising into your delicate high cheekbones eliminating the need for blush. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Zygote in My Coffee Print #4


Your skin translucent and white, framed by ginger hair and meticulously placed bruises by fists of jealousy and rage. The fear gloves you as the dress is pulled over your head. His fingerprints the same color blue reflecting, intensifying, as you prepare to ring in the new year in the chill of this city night, with a smile intact across your lips like a lie too scandalous to be told. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

"Under Fathoms"

Sea spray streaks upward as the hull cuts the salt, whitecaps lapping the ship like a lover, and the lolling side to side is a lullaby, something left from childhood, bringing songs without words. The warmth of arms hem in tightly as two skins mutate into one; the singing rises higher and farther; the vibration of synchronized heartbeats, mine and the ocean’s, pulls me home under fathoms of dark green waters into the perpetual night of the sea. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


The sharp cords of your neck muscles meet the collar bone making a divine indentation of flesh, a pool that could hold a thousand tears without spilling as it heaves with your breath, rapid and shallow, when the mark of my teeth trail my presence, and you are left with nothing more than wanting. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Wings of Icarus

"An Anchor Around Your Free Thoughts"

We walk hand in hand on the forest trail, I can feel your thoughts pulsating through your bony fingers, interlaced between mine, amassing joy at the touch of something pure. There are tortuous moments of silence chiseling our bodies apart as they navigate the uneven ground, toes stepping over rising roots that look like grandmother’s arms, stones erupting, pushing away the layers of lost life making homes for tiny legged potato beetles. Your fingers unravel from mine, your arm twisting taut behind you, shoulder blade cutting through your flesh as you move forward three steps ahead, my shyness an anchor around your free thoughts, and as your hand breaks from mine I am showered with the vision of skin stranding into silk ribbons hung on the hooks of your desire. You find a sharp stick, hold it to your eyes for inspection, lips moving silently, your mind circumnavigating a world I cannot see. You begin writing our poem into the moist earth, with its’ hidden fears, its’ death, its’ seed of life, its’ fragility, with sweeping arcs and dominating angles, standing at first and then falling close to the words you cannot take with you. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"The Poisoning"

The proclamation of my loud shoes against the pavement sets me on edge. The safety of light is sparse between lamps, as the two burning circles barely touch. It is in this place I hear a second set of footfalls, unsure if it is my secret fear of darkness leeching into my ear, or if it is a perpetrator stalking me. My feet scurry beneath me faster, my head on a swivel searching blackness and finding nothing I can place a finger on. The echoes travel closer and quicker in shadows, and the saliva in my mouth runs dry, and my voice wants to scream, but lingers on the back of my tongue, unable to cross the desert of my mouth. There is a clearing with a lake of mercury, the moon floats in the center like a cultured pearl, an imperfection of the highest degree, luring me near. I pull my shoes off breaking into a run, the high grass slicing into my muscles like double-edged daggers as I split the night with my body. I run with arms and legs pumping like a machine in full tilt, running from the echo, running from the defalcator. Diving under the surface of the lake, face painted in molten mercury, poisoning my mouth and my eyes, arms pulling me deeper and deeper into the belly of my monster, its green weedy tongues entangling my limbs until the thrashing is done, until my breath is nothing more than silver bubbles filled with fear, rising to the surface, a woman released. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Frigid Spaces"

Passing through your house, a breath heard in my ear, a shadow leaking into my head. I turn to see the you that isn’t there, just a pocket of cold air running down my neck, and I know it must be you, I step into this frigid space with lips parted, waiting for the knife of our love to pierce my chest, closing the door on this haunting life so I can sleep again. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Haphazard Approaches"

Flowers call to the inside of me, not the planting or the growing, but the need to give them a name. The rush of classifying by parts and pieces filled with deconstructing blooms, digging into their haves and have-nots, and diving into microscopic challenges moves me. The book used is more like the code of Hammurabi than science; its immutable attention to detail inspiring elevated states of perfection. The dance of pollination with its haphazard approaches becomes all too evident in the fruits of their labors, sweet swollen ovaries, the golden crowns of flirtation. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Death and Taxes"

A letter from the IRS creates a rage that mumbles under my breath distracting me from the fight we tangoed with the night before. In slow motion, I watch the car in front of me plow into an orange marbled cat, hind legs bending into unnatural proportions, spine snapping easily into paraplegia. Not one brake light, or turn of the head as flesh was crumpled under new treads, cat left crawling on front paws, claws gripping the blacktop, cries howl out in disbelief. I have taxes to pay. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Saints in Waiting"

An old man hovers in the waiting area at midnight with his small, blue eyes muddied from years of alcohol and smoke. I ask him if I can help him and he opens his mouth, teeth rotting, breath laced with drink telling me he needs to talk. He starts with his worries no one loves me nervously touching his face sickness in his family, wrongs and rights committed unto others, love and sadness, old war times, and how the wife tells him to SHUT UP you bastard. Loving words spill from him about his dead father, a man always on the straight and narrow, a man who spoke line after line from the Bible in stern tone. He speaks of his two sisters both smart and good looking, accomplished teachers and nurses, his insignificance apparent, of their distance (with)in geographical closeness. Plastic covered pictures flipped, neat faces of children and grandchildren he never sees or holds run by, animated. He tells me of the time his son hugged him for no reason, tears welling in his eyes, rims red and moist as he carefully touches them away can’t waste what little I have. I stand there with shades of (in)difference, thinking of stories about old beggars at the roadside whom no one will help Will work for food prophets, deities, monks saints in waiting, testing the fiber of humanity, testing the soul’s moral fortitude Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

"Bird Lady"

The pale yellow house down the street reminds me of the bird lady’s that lived next door to me when I was a child. She always glared, lurking in the shadows, ready for children to disturb her domain of unkempt lawn, chain link fence encased the yard, ravaged with tendrils of roses and raspberries gone wild, reaching out to passers by for help, salvation, trees and shrubs overgrown filling all the spaces grass used to be, slender concrete paths lead to the back door end fragmented into shards. It is inaccessible just as she is, barricaded by ivy creeping across the breadth at various tangents, green, woody fingers binding the knob like a python. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"By Way of Arkansas"

Her face is burnt and peeling from hours in the hot sun slathered in baby oil. She talks real tough with a jaunty fa-get-ah-bout-it attitude. “Oh yeah,” she says, “I’d do it again” as she lightly strokes her wrist wrapped in pristine gauze. When she thinks no one is watching the truth unfolds, and the darkness wraps her with its barbed wings. Tears well in her eyes running her thick, black mascara down her burnt cheeks adding insult to her injury. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Haggard & Halloo 12/06


One strand of your golden hair upon my arm draws my flesh to rise. It is provocative like a mistress interfering with a life already established. Its’ delicacy tips the balance of good and evil within me, where I stand feels undetermined. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Laura Hird Spring Showcase 2007


The rotting Cyclamen from Valentine’s Day still sits in the middle of the table with its shiny pink paper. Leaves desiccating before my eyes; Once swollen ovaries withering, shrinking with the onset of age like a vegetative menopause. Stems twisted awkwardly, dangling like broken necks in a tight noose, hanging limply over the potter. All life gone except one pink flower. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Laura Hird Spring Showcase 2007


He pulls long and hard on a sweet cigar, the smell hanging stiffly between his yellow, stained fingers gripping me as I pass. It reminds me of people I no longer know or see, reminds me of things I can no longer remember clearly. The smoke rises around his sagging flesh enticing the wisps of smoke to cling to his jowls. Gray hair is flattened upon his balding head, greasy and badly combed like a winding, downhill highway. His back is hunched, the frame of his body rigidly twisted in front of the Episcopalian church. He is teetering on the curb like the memories teetering in my head as he waits for something that cannot be given. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Laura Hird Spring Showcase 2007

"To The Wind"

Fresh night air slaps me across the face stepping through the back door into the rain soaked alley, reminding me of how you breeze in and out of these wet days a rustling of leaves, a lilting feather and each breath with you tastes of cherry blossoms, each breath with you effortless and calm willing me to turn face to the wind. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


I. I was prettier, sexier then, and used my beauty like a siren to devour men I thought I wanted. I put myself into increasingly precarious positions. I took chances with my body that I would not take today. II. Out in the night alone like a Gemini half excited, half depressed; Sauntering slowly on the dark side of the street, listening to the sound of my heels clicking in time, on the sidewalk to the rise and fall of my breath. My perfume swirling like a tendril of smoke, infused with the pungency of the vintage suede jacket I wore while looking for trouble. III. I felt isolated sitting at the bar drinking beer as dark as his skin. I could feel him stealing glances at me, noticing the hem of my dress mounting my thigh, diaphanous and white. I could feel his stare so intent that I knew I sat there in the bar suddenly naked. IV. His apartment scattered with candles, incense, smooth jazz hung my thoughts suspended in the air. Hearing him speak, but not hearing his words as he slid the heels from my feet, as he slid the stockings from my thighs, as his oppression hovered over me; thinking “He is twice my size, strong as an ox.” Thinking “How will I get out of this one?” V. The fiendish look on his face had a sobering effect. My mouth started making sounds, and spewing proclamations of shame and blame. He looked bewildered as I inched my way from under his chest, more bewildered as I put on my heels leaving the stockings on the floor like the shed skin of a sidewinder. I grabbed my coat and slithered out the door. VI. I walked the dark streets again, this time not knowing where I was, or how to get home. I no longer felt powerful. The weight of my stupidity numbed me, embarrassed me, and the only living soul on the street was a menacing man with a stare worse than the one I just escaped. I asked him, “Where do I catch the 15?’ He pointed across the street and smiled as if he had a secret that I didn’t want to know. VII. 3 am I made it home to the boarding house of transplanted strangers, my family, with feet sore, ego wounded. Roger waited up for me, knowing me better these days than I know myself, and I slipped into bed with him, into something safe and easy, and devoured him instead. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #78


Hips form a bridge spanning a river, constructed tenuously, easily destroyed by the body in undulating waves. Nerves electric contorting limbs in seizure, brain losing all control of its kingdom, breath stutters, indecisive about the future of inhaling and exhaling. The freedom of chaos, for however brief, intoxicates me, life affirmed in a reality fragmented and hallucinatory. Calm washes in with the high tide receding undetected, breath lightens, limbs loosen, heartbeat softens, until I am gone. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"Loose Netting"

My limbs slide through the water without resistance, tepid waves swallow me in a vacuum of fragile braided reflections as my face submerges the surface, water filling the crevices of my body like whispers. I think of your grasping hands like loose netting slipping over my flesh as I sink to the bottom. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


When he cries the soft bones of his skull, not yet connected, shift and heave in human plate tectonics, the ocean his skin, the waves his fine hair, his tiny fingers clutching at my hand like a seabird fishing the surface of choppy waters. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


She is 98 going on 50 and I am changing her back into her clothes for discharge home. We chat about remembering not to take too many of her new pills without talking to the doctor, as she rests a hand upon my forearm, her touch light and feathery with fragile, thin skin. I look into her eyes find the edges reddening brim with sad tears on the brink of spilling. She tells me she doesn’t understand why sickness has found her family so late in her life. She grips me now with tiny fingers, speaking of her son curled in a bed from stroke, how he had never hurt anyone in his life to deserve such an end, such a fate. There is nothing I can say so I start to cry, place my hand upon her brittle, gray hair sliding it down until is rests upon her cheek to catch the tear that got away. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Jesus Has Dancing Girls"

Jesus has dancing girls and cheesy used car salesmen in his godly employ. “Listen here folks” Cadillac man says, on center stage with heavenly gyrating nymphs, “Jesus loves YOU more than your parents, more than your children, even more than your spouse.” My husband looks at me, sideways glance, eyebrow raised as if to inquire about my extra-marital affairs, “With Jesus?” I reply out loud with a wild laugh, “Most definitely.” Aleathia Drehmer 2006


My fingers slide over the control panel, grazing velvet leaves the color of dove’s wings, softer than a rabbit ear, and I am released by a perfect bundle of dried lavender tied heartily in shiny, silver-spun ropes, heaven drifting upward to my face, and I am lead to bliss by translucent red and blue beads strung together in a child’s Morse code on fanciful plastic strings, dots and dashes picking up stray shafts of light, and I am illuminated by perfectly spaced garnet-colored jewels traced with antique loops of wire, curved and swaying like the hips of a Spanish lady, draped in sweet silence, black lace fan over lips to hide a smile, and I am exhilarated by a shred of frayed purple silk ribbon fashioned to the steering wheel, a string for remembering that my fingers find blindly, giving to twist then turn at the sight of something beautiful rising out of sadness, and I am. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Hungry Ghosts"

We are full of hungry ghosts and long hours divided into silence, chanting and prostrations to drive them out. Gods levitate above trees parallel to the earth, our feet buried in deep to feel the transfer of pure electricity. We gather their treasures with an unknowing greed, eyes shifting sideways watching and coveting, as if we have found something worth hiding. Reticent hands dig into loam, moist and intoxicated with recycled life quick and with precision. We lay on the ground in it. Our lungs fill but stay empty. Secrets are pushed in knolls of shaming trees, tucked under dark roots lifting upward from burgeoning rock formations and time, until we no longer feel the weightof our hunger. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by The Beatnik 2/08


Noises from the street filter through the crack in the doorjamb, Turkish melodies entice cups from saucers to lips. My tea smells sweet with licorice, a slow moving zephyr beneath my nose erasing the harsh decomp of the city. Each sip stronger than the last, autumn colored elixir brimming in unflawed white stone like an orgasm. The ecstasy of it surges my brain with memories, some floating back a delicious whispering in my ear, some stabbing in with the taste of nightmares. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"No Railings"

Down a country road that follows the bank of a stream, I am balancing on a bridge only two feet wide with no railings. I see you, face sweet, sun-kissed hazy in the distance body twitches in sleep with the old porch chair rocking gently, seeds of trees with bits of tuft float passed me in the slow heat, igniting a feeling in the depths of me setting this bridge on fire. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


Hairs pulled from root in five different places, inside of cheek scraped with a cardboard blade ten times, sterile swab run between tooth and gum, back and forth five times, body inspected for bruises, scratches, human bites, pubic hairs plucked and combed onto white papers, secret places that were taken cultured for seeds, bringing tears, and memories best forgotten. Story replayed by voice, in mind for nurse, for counselor, for doctor, for investigator until the story turned into a lonely nightmare. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


19 years I’ve lived on this earth, the last six of them spent in mental copulation, turning over instances of cupped breasts, dry fucks, and French kisses, hands on the small of my back passing workers in the hot, cramped kitchen, backed against parking garage walls under the stairwell legs draped over hips, fingers parting lips, dorm room blow-jobs, late night phone sex in soft voices, hushed so parents didn’t overhear, have all brought me to the crowning jewel with feet planted on the dashboard in the passengers seat, reclined tucked on a dirt road after humanities class, bodies sweating, yours more than mine, and I am distracted by the fact that everything that came before this moment impressed me more than this. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Cause & Effect 1/08

Friday, July 13, 2007


The furrow of a young man’s back, created as he leans down deep onto his haunches giving rise to knolls and vale of thick flesh, amplifies the cadence of my heart at the witnessing of strength, of elongated muscles bound to a human capacity to be stripped and studied without recognition, the camera in my eye snaps a thousand instances of light, shadow, and depth to lock away into the recesses of my desire for a time when there is nothing left. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Flutter 7/07

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Heavy Meds"

My mother called yesterday with a tone in her voice that zip-lined me back 20 years to the time before her first brain surgery when heavy meds stole her smile, blanked her face, left her drooling on herself in the dark. Heavy meds forced Johnny Mathis to repeat “Chances Are” to try and ease her pain, made her forget how to write her name, had her burning pots of water on the stove, made her cry like a child at shadows. Part of me froze up on the other end of the line trying to find the right words to tell her I understood without placating false hopes about the darkness creeping up behind her. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


I had not seen Dick Clark on TV since his stroke, and frankly, I had not thought much of him until this New Year’s Eve night. Flipping through the stations sitting on my couch and drinking red wine, we came upon the face of Dick Clark with the voice of someone subhuman. Though he looked the same, the sound of his voice was creeping me out in some strange way that I cannot explain. My husband thought it funny and kept switching back to him to watch me squirm, to watch Dick fumble with his words as the wine and cheese kept rising up the back of my throat. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Zygote in My Coffee Print Issue 3

"Pure Reason"

Cricket is missing his four front teeth, two on the top and two on the bottom. This name given to him for the uncanny ability to make sounds like an insect. His real name is Pete. In front of the Safeway, greeting shoppers and engaging them with intelligent conversation, his paper cup fills easily and quickly full of coins and bills never begged for. He reads thick books by great philosophers, and we have debates on the street about Transcendental idealism while people sidestep us to keep their pristine white bags from getting tangled in our metaphysical storm of words. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Word Riot 6/07


The Haitian is always smiling, gliding generic canned goods over the scanner with the expanse of his solid obsidian right hand. Blips march out unevenly down the line of registers, the noise consistently inconsistent until the drone of it is musical. He stands in the express lane closest to the door. He is never at another register, and I find myself putting back cans of peas and boxes of cereal to qualify getting into his line. His left arm ends at the wrist, five tiny nubs protrude like creamy, pink baby toes that have no strength or purpose, and it is this that draws me in. Jittering in my skin, needing to ask him the question, I am caught staring at the absence of a hand as I sheepishly fumble with my wallet having broke the countenance of his smile. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Juice 6/07

"Short Window of Time"

Two days of rain heavy clouds, and misery perched over the land, transient slips of gray now in a slow building grace, hills fuller, more verdant than I remembered. Two days feels an eternity watching the sun kiss through pillows of textured white, onto curves colliding in degrees of angle forming the valley of my home, slopes that tuck me in at night, that greet my smile at sunrise. I am reborn into spring through this short window of time, when lilacs release clean invigorated scents, and lilies of the valley unfurl bowed pristine bells in prayer, nestled in deep green leaves, a bunting for tender children sleeping. I am caught here, trapped in a moment that finds me each year among the tendrils, the stopped time of childhood dreams. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Brave Little Poem of the Day 6/07


Streets teem with water, and melting hail, the leftovers from a squall. I let my arm dangle out the window onto hot metal of assembly line steel. The sharpness of rain laden air slips over my burning skin, street water splashing upward as cars pass too closely. I wear the grit of summer construction between my fingers, relishing the feeling of filth wedged in creases, while watching perfect white beanstalks fracture the sky with light. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


for Mathias He would like to think himself made of marble or granite, something that withstands the lashings of society, but I see he is built of limestone, penetrated easily with lacerations, deep and superficial, some worn like badges of honor drawing attention from those that gape open and bleed showing the tenderness of his essence. It is this chink in his armored facade that causes him to push my outstretched hand away to keep from making it real. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


She has tattooed the names of all her lovers on various lines of her body, the most important conquests highly visible, banners of her victory, no secrets to be kept. It settles over me strangely and deeply that the tender spot of her neck below the ear, the coveted place a lover might stop to steal a kiss as he traverses his way to bigger and better things is inked crisply with the letters of her father’s name. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Upcoming Publication in Zygote in My Coffee Print #4


He smells of coffee and cigarettes as he grips the steering wheel, one handed stiff armed, driving 80mph down the empty four-lane. Windows rolled all the way down, my hair a whirling dervish in shuttered light of overhead lamps. Our faces small pages of a flip-book as our laughter dances around long silences. His desire to touch me, kiss me evident in the way he leans into me around the sharp curves of the highway; In the casual way he misses my exit and smiles from the side of his mouth. I let him close enough to feel the heat of his skin sweltering above the oppression of this southern night, close enough to keep him coming back for parts of me he can never have. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Amarillo Bay 2/08

Monday, May 14, 2007


It is decided you must be my muse, a pliable combination of two of the nine daughters of Zeus, Erato Melpomene, for the sight of your face contrives tragedy wrapped in a delicate sheath of sensuality, it's voiceless song needling into my ears, smoke curling through the sluices of my brain, a toxic vapor of creativity that chokes hold of me before I can even realize it is done. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


I was allowed to sleep in this morning, awaking to soft sunshine, silence. I stretched out like a cat trying to move the dreams from deep in my muscles. Your words lingering still, haloed loosely around my ears, a touch gold, a slight of hand that rivals Midas for every pound he was worth. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


I like that it is my fate to haphazardly stumble upon your poems, never directed in a proper fashion, always groping in the air a mole coming to the surface to discover one more facet to your multiplicable personality. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Fly Away"

The old road is barren in early morning, the friction of tires on the pavement making visceral noises. Mist raises its arms to meet a dense, hovering fog making love to wiry, green tendrils of kudzu, both laughing at the world, strangling underbrush and trees post coitus. A centrifugal sound escapes the spokes of my white bicycle, I am a ghost speeding down the slope, curved like a woman’s lips, soft and dangerous standing on the pedals at break neck speed. Dew invigorated with magnolia, wrapped in honeysuckle, hits my face delicate as soap bubbles releasing the nectar onto my skin and I fly away. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


I am an automaton in the future of my life, driving in blinding darkness with half-closed lids. This road a cracked tongue fissures like infinite gaps in the earth, its’ moist, dark tunnel ripe with rot. A river of sticky, blue saliva drips from the ruggulated palate onto the windshield, a prickly heat surrounding me as a fetid breath at my back pushes me into the light. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"The Remains of Men"

Sitting in the high grass of a meadow, once a battlefield saturated with blood of young men, fighting for pride and boundaries, bodies crossed, stacked like twigs for a fire. The remains of men adhere to my hands as I clap two sticks together, gathered from this graveyard, creating ragged tunes making syncopated beats soft harmonic voices lifting into the summer heat. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Upcoming Publication by The Cerebral Catalyst


I am folded into this neat circle of newly adopted friends of friends. Innocently, they lend acceptance into my hands that I will surely take for granted. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Gloom Cupboard (online #16) 1/08

"Perfect Eggs"

I breakfasted in a diner where the waitresses know the names of every war veteran that sets to chow and they have intertwined themselves into the fabric of their history. On a simple white plate, I am served the most perfect eggs I have eaten in years, two slabs of thick, rye toast with enough butter to negate my workout from the night before, coffee hot and strong with enough depth to cure my tiredness. This is savored amidst the mingling of laughter from old women at the jocular conversations between their husbands, silverware clanging, tips in aprons sounding wealthy as change is muffled by folded dollar bills. Middle aged women shouting orders, greetings, and questions of accommodation hit me pleasingly as it has been some time since I settled into a barstool alone to write listening to the sounds of my childhood, my heart clattering with the silver, wishing I still lived with the responsibility of saving conversations instead of saving lives. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


Words form a labyrinth encircling my head trapped in mid-air by the thick heat collected in my car while I was sleeping. This road is straight, a fine country stretch trees reaching out to me green budded fingers a temptation for dreaming, bugs kamikaze on the windshield, on the grill reminds me of all the death I witness daily. Coltrane splits the hairs of my inner ear, sweet chaotic melodies elevating my brain's chemical levels above the tidal line, traveling the opposite direction through the maze around my head. I am oblivious to the world, apathetic to its' dangers. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Sitting with book in hand, careened forward as my mind diverges out the open window, elevated into the same biting wind that turns nail beds blue and ripples my skin. I sense your phantom hands upon my mouth, an invisible collision of energy paralyzing me in my already transient state, knees strapping me down to the chair. The weight of you evident, suffocating me in primal pleasure until I must laugh at my illusion, your delusion of grandeur. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Hecale 7/07

"What I Have to Offer"

This wet stain hovering above the stripes on the sheets, cool to my fleshy thigh, reminds me that I can still illicit a reaction from you, that what I have to offer still excites, still drives your sex to rise against the coup of domestication. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


There is something about your eyes that frightens me, moves me to want to turn and run away. Yet the shape of your mouth, pursed from smile, full of need and longing, draws me nearer still. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


There is something in the graceless movements of my mind that traps me close and tight to a thought, unceasing, unending, squeezing life from it one small escaped breath at a time. I am put to pasture with one nick to its’ garden hose feeding tube, blood pulsating through the blemish, still graceless and bleeding it dry until it never was. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by The Outsider Writers 6/07


My eyes have a hard time looking at your face, it reminds me of this struggle to find a place between us that does not push me over the edge. I have never been good at separating emotion from logic, they run over each other, wet paints on canvas smearing and bleeding into something lethally poisonous and unintended. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Zygote in My Coffee Issue 89


Every time my tongue touches mango I am reminded of ice storms, trapped in my apartment with booze and loud music, laughter dominating the night. One woman needs above all other needs, a mango and her lover braves black ice for her desires. The fruit is smooth, heavy in my palm smelling of islands with colors of squawking tropical parrots. I watch her deftly slice the skin into boats exposing saffron flesh being divvied into tiny squares with a sharp blade then inverted into plateaus. I place it to my lips, sweetness is interlaced with peppery undertones that moves me as the juice sticky and sensual runs down my chin. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Amarillo Bay 2/08


Warm water assails the crown of my head cascading my forehead, runnels forming over closed eyelids, eyelashes a penetrable barrier leading to into a valley made by nose and cheekbone. Droplets pooling in the cleft of my upper lip, one solitary precarious drop slides down into the corner of my mouth. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Juice 6/07

Monday, April 16, 2007


My teeth were whiter and prettier before I discovered the sweet addiction of coffee. Years of caffeine staining each tooth their own individual color, cream, butter, rice paper, ivory. The sharp edges got thinner daily from aging and pregnancy. The calcium leached from my perfect teeth to feed the fetus that used to live inside me until the enamel was near translucent. I don’t smile much anymore. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by The Outsider Writers 6/07

Friday, April 13, 2007


If I had but one moment to trace the shape of your face with the tip of my finger, I would find myself held unaccountable for my actions, I would find myself at the mercy of your eyes, I would find myself malleable under the warmth of your hands, if I had but one moment to trace the shape of your face with the tip of my finger. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Poems for All 6/07


Ten Acre Run is a mythical place in the desert for children, who believe in the miracles of the world. In the midst of hot sun and cracked mud, lay a haven of grassy fields, maple and oak trees, and flowers not blooming from the spines of cacti. It is a place for riding horses with smooth, shiny saddles smelling of leather oil and alfalfa, instead of riding like heathens with cinched horse blankets, bare feet rubbing the ribs of our beasts. The saddle horn silky and worn as I pull myself up, right leg floats over his rump gracefully, fluidly. I feel eyes on me watching in anticipation, as boots slide loosely into stirrups too big for my feet, reins gripped firm in my hands. Holding the bridle, Tara leans toward me whispering, “Don’t forget to lean in.” I nod, sitting proudly atop this fine muscular horse, she releases the bridle, I nudge him to go the heels of my boots digging into his side expecting him to break into a gallop But he rises in slow motion, hooves beating angrily into the heat of the air. My face rises up towards the sun, light blinds all thoughts from my head, all lessons learned vanish quietly, I am left with instinct and she is screaming for me to hold on. Feet hover out of the stirrups, hands grip the reins tighter and tighter my body dancing with gravity. twisting in the wind like a paper lantern. I make an imprint into the grass and dust, eyes snap open, as if waking from a nightmare to a sea of horsehair painting my face, swimming in my mouth, cutting my tongue like a thousand microscopic razors. Whiskey rolls over my body, his spine a bony axe dislocating my hip, then my shoulder trying desperately to get vertical. I am powerless to escape his swift hoof as it connects to the right side of my head ripping a portion of my ear from my head. Everything is dark now, silence is deafening, there is a pain I have never known, a throbbing inside my head, and the warmth of my blood strangely soothes me when it trickles down the side of my face. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"One of the Girls"

I have never been one of those feminine girls that fawns over fashion, make-up and hunks. I spent my time slightly to the side of popularity, with a book in my hands, and a song in my head, trying to maintain a balance. I wanted to be considered one of the guys while still having just enough intrigue to be one of the girls. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Hog Tied"

There is a hog-tied girl in the back of the police cruiser, screaming the same five words in a loop. Three cops pick her up like they are carrying a pig on a spit. Her shaggy, black hair falling into her face, red and swollen from crying and fighting. Soft folds of her stomach become visible to this lion of a night as her shirt cannot defy gravity in her present position and the edges of her jeans ragged hang around her dirty feet with misshapen toenails painted purple and chipping. It takes seven of us to strap her into leather restraints, the same five words streaming from her throat like a torture. voice manic and strained eyes black with vacant rage rocking her body on the stretcher so violently it moves across the room rails bend to their capacity. I want to take my tape and fix her mouth shut. I want to tape her whole face to shield that look of empty hatred. I do not like being a nurse. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Thursday, April 5, 2007

"Disregarding Danger"

In the park near my father’s apartment there is a curious tree that grows horizontally over the creek. It’s origin, it’s roots never quite in the bright light of sun. The unlikely existence of this tree forced it to grow in an unnatural position. The trunk like a grown man’s leg, straight and long, hovers parallel to the ground. The bark is smooth and almost soft, perfectly round. The grass below it rises up around it, a mass of verdant hairs. As this beautiful tree reaches the embankment, it forms a bend and stands over the creek, growing from thin air, stretching towards the sunlight that filters through the other trees in the woods. My father lets me test my bravery and balance on this tree. He lets me take off my shoes and socks so I can feel every grain and knot, my toes curling around the edges as if on the balance beam in gym class. I walk out on this trunk without his help and at the bend I am suspended two feet over the ledge of the embankment. To fall the distance to the water and rocks below would mean breaking something. My father disregards this danger. No fear ever washes over his face as I do this and my soul soars with the freedom. My heart nearly bursts with the joy that he trusts in the grace of my being. Holding on to the upright branches, I am enchanted with the dancing light peering through the leaves of the tallest trees. It seems impossible to me that this tree can survive amongst these giants that it can continue to thrive against the odds. The pureness of the air, cooler and cleaner over the water, refreshes me. I get lost in the motion picture of pollens and dust floating by in the rays of light. Listening to the birds chirp their morning songs, I think of the stories my father and I made up the night before, listening to classical music with the window open to the summer night. He told me the music could tell any story that I could think of, each instrument a voice for a character that only I could create. The thought of it was magical and fantastical; it was so unlike the life I was leading. I fell asleep that night telling a story that I can no longer remember. He had treated me to stories of his own travels out in the world; stories of canoeing down the Mississippi river with his dog Napoleon, and how they walked the Appalachian Trail from stem to stern. I imagined my father out there as a young man with his head full of loose, sandy brown curls, and laugh that could shake the blues from just about anyone. I think of these adventures and his bravery as I test the mechanics of my body on this limb. Napoleon sits there at the root, half covered in the tall grass. He sits there without being told to, like it is in his nature to watch over me. His eyes follow my every move in anticipation of a rescue, for his trust in my skills, is not like the trust of my father. When I have lingered long enough over the water to feel strong and sure, long enough to feel like I have tested my will to the best of my ability, I walk the length of the trunk back. I sit down on its’ roots to put on my socks and shoes and I can see Napoleon’s tail waging, making the grass quiver. I place my hand on his velvet, black head as he licks my cheek. He is a loving dog. My father has walked far ahead into the forest and we run to catch up with him. Napoleon and I race each other. I push my legs to go as fast as they can, until I feel them burning. We look sideways at each other to see who will win. Napoleon always wins, but that never matters to me. It is the racing at full speed that matters. It is the pushing of the limits that matters. I smile at the way his long, pink tongue flaps in the breeze of his stride. I know my father can hear our approach for he reaches his hand out to the side, and lets my hand slip into it; the strength of his arms stopping my inertia. The callousness of his hands, rough from his work, with dirt ground in gives me quiet comfort. It is a wonder that a hand used for such hard work can be innately tender. My heart swells in the shining of his silent trust in my ability to keep myself safe. It seems too much to ask of someone to have that kind of faith in such a short time together. I cannot understand the nature of it, or how it can grow so quickly from so little. We walk the rest of the morning with this new feeling surging between us, each of us not wanting it to dissipate. As he teaches me about the nature in this forest and its offerings, I smile into myself at this feeling of wholeness that I have never known until this day. I did not know if I would ever feel it again, so I hold it close for all its worth, capturing its’ essence for a day when I will need it again. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


I am driving in my car slowly, the tires making dull thuds into the potholes, like small craters in the earth that are the remnants of winter's salt. Dried, brown leaves dart across the cragged pavement in the blustery beginning of spring. They remind me of tiny children running and jumping across the schoolyard, escaping their prison on the last day of classes. The sun fractures through the leafless trees somehow bright and soft simultaneously. I squint my eyes to its luminance to look upon the sky crystalline and blue like the waters of a warm ocean I have never seen. Clouds crawl like tortoises, their great humped backs like stepping-stones across a small, babbling creek. There is an old man with gray whiskers on his dilapidated bicycle in front of me, his frail, skinny leg a kickstand. He is still dressed for winter and his navy coat is stained with many years of misuse. His dingy, orange knit cap pulled tightly to his skull makes me think of aging, makes me think of the degradation of the human body over time, how year by year we lose fat and sinew as our bodies require less and less of us to survive. I lament the fact that each day spent living is another day spent dying, that each moment experienced is a moment of the past. The interchange so minute that we don’t begin to see it until it is too late. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007


Monsoons come early this year. We witness them sailing across the desert from miles out, dark thunderheads billow with hidden destruction, perfect lightening bolts strike the ground like the hand of Zeus. Shameless, the rain soaks the dry, cracked earth baked hard by a long summer. It feels like sandpaper, looks of Spanish tile. The gulches and washes fill with raging, muddy waters, debris splinters the banks, decimating the land before our hungry eyes. We wait eager for the rains to steal away so we could take the horses out, run them like bullet trains on fresh mud, breathe deep the scent of wet sagebrush and yellow bells. Our bodies mold to the horses riding bareback in the aftermath with greedy grins on our faces. pushing them to their limit, pushing our own limits not only racing each other but the next storm on the horizon. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Hecale 7/07


I come from the East, all things West new to me, weather, scenery and the people all strange and beautiful. Ishmael is the most beautiful of all. He sits behind me in the 4th grade, the force of his breath moves my hair, and I have to control myself to keep from turning in my chair to look at him, my body electric just to be near to him. His skin is dark from sun, from ancestry and his black hair glints in the hot light of day. Most of all, I like his smile the two silver front teeth captivate me entirely. He and his friends pick on me at recess daily, they call me ”Toro” when I run down the grass bank after them, chasing them, doing embarrassing things to gain Ishmael’s attention, his affection, to think for one moment I am liked by them, but all I really get is a reputation as a loco white girl. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Flutter 3/07


I awoke to the sound of gasping, and in my naïve mind, I imagined I was dreaming of running out of breath, I told myself to go back to sleep, but then there was frantic pounding on the frail, paneled walls of the trailer, that kept time with the gasping. I slid from beneath my covers, the carpet worn and cool under my bare toes. My head poked through the doorway in quiet anticipation of ghouls. The narrow hallway dark except for the dusky, yellow light of the bathroom, and in it the shadow of my mother, naked and swollen with pregnancy. Her arms on either wall with palms pressed flat and tense, head hanging down in some strange simulation of crucifixion. My breath sucked in loudly, and she raised her head, quickly drawing her hands around her neck to show me she was choking. I ran past her in my nightgown like a shot of light to wake my stepfather. Without hesitation, he grabbed her from behind, trying to find a way around her massive stomach, and then with a thrust a hard candy projected from her, making a plunking sound on the wall, and soon thereafter came my brother. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote In My Coffee #80


Summer mornings found me on horseback with the gentle rocking of my animal’s gait making my life feel less like a supplication. I walked him past the pecan groves that stretched a seemingly endless mile. Cool air emanated from the corridors of perfectly aligned trees. A dense fog hung tensely, moisture plumed from the ground; The night’s watering not yet fully evaporated. A bitter smell like pitch pine rose to meet me as the horse’s hooves crushed the thick green hulls of nuts that had fallen from the trees, shaken loose during midnight thievery. I soaked this in, the pungency, the moisture, the solitude, the abbreviated notion of living in the moment, not thinking about my life or the life of my elders, letting it all exist, this intermingling of freedom and passivity before the harshness of the sun could burn it away. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007


The cat is curled up into the crook of my writing arm, his breathing a delicate purr. He still hasn’t found the bravado of his voice. The rise and fall of his body slowly tries to lull me to sleep with the pen in my hand. Through the window, lying in the dying light of a gray afternoon, I see the beginnings of buds on trees pushing their way from the core. Squirrels are dancing, leaping branch to branch, tails high in the air, chattering loudly and twitching like old men with Tourette’s in attempts to start the mating season early. The sounds of my family spread out in separate rooms, the bleeping of video games and the turning of pages with a soft voice telling a story of her own, brings a smile. Each taking a comfort in the time spent alone with themselves tells me, solidly, without spoken words that we have found some peace in this world. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by The Beatnik 2/08

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Into the Crypt"

The death of my grandfather mustered from my mother the hunger for religion which she had not needed in over twelve years. It was springtime, and all the things I had always loved about it were at risk for being dampened as if this event could make it slink back into winter. We drove to the monastery on the hill with me slumped in the backseat, face below the rise of the window watching clouds impregnate the darkening sky. Tiny pebbles pinched between tire and road made a solemn pinging noise, and I could see the dust upsurge then float away like our meager existence in time. When the car stopped, I stepped from its’ safety, embarrassed by my mother’s religious hypocrisy, and her sudden desires for atonement. My hands wrapped around the braided brass handles of the thick, heavy pine doors to the chapel of the monks. We sat in the white-walled chapel as they filed in, silent and solitary. The smell of incense burning, and the timber of their voices haunted me as they sang Vespers. I wanted to cry. I swallowed back the saltiness of my tears as a sign of solidarity to my mother in her grief for a father whose lividity stifled and squandered her. We descended to the darkness of the crypt of the Blessed Mother, and lit the candle of remembrance. She knelt onto the velvet pew with the illumination of her sorrow neatly shining on her cheeks. I knelt beside her, my arm wrapped tightly around her shuddering shoulders. I let my heart spill witnessing this vulnerability and the lifetime of emptiness that would plague her. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by The Cerebral Catalyst 1/07


Insomnia grips me again tonight, and I feel my feet restless and moving beneath me, leading me into the dark summer night, onto these city streets in search of the talisman of slumber. I slink around these neighborhoods like a shadow. I know them so well, know their unmarked boundaries like my own face; Know them so well that I can straddle them, and have my ass in two places at once. This is the shit that keeps me awake. My brain firing constantly with senseless chatter. This night, I find myself in Fremont under the highway with a concrete troll. His hubcap of an eye glinting in the sideways light of the lamppost. I am frozen in front of it in some strange fear. It creeps me out in the darkness with my brain spent, and my vision blurry with ataxic movements. I’m seeing shit that isn’t there, and the din of the highway above my head is deafening, and vibrates my body Like a lullaby. It makes me want to lay face down on the pavement and sleep like a bum, but I am stabbed with the sound of screeching tires and voices, the thud of a body being dumped to the street, the dull thumping of heavy shoes crushing ribs and flesh. My fear slides me behind the pylon that holds up the highway, I’m afraid to look at the body in the road, afraid of my cowardice, afraid of seeing myself, but I look anyway, because insomnia says I can. He is there in the road, His shirt a white glowing light on the blacktop. I close my eyes and breathe And he is gone. I walk to where he was beaten like a dog to find a small pool of sticky blood, and I feel crazy at this moment, crazy enough to go to sleep. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #72


Examining my womanhood, breasts hanging in total irreverence to time or gravity, looking related not quite twins but sisters. One rounded, stretched, nipple flat without the enticement to rise, the other smaller less robust, more attentive, more apt to stand at attention when touched for she is the prettier sister graced with more affections. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"The Quickness"

I can’t seem to get used to the sound, the feeling of ribs cracking under the pressure of my hands, and the solemn idea that the force of my body that I put forth to heal, can cut to the quick and destroy as easily as it can save. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Metered Time"

Light reflects through each track of condensation rolling down the windowpane. A green steeple illuminated on the horizon, white doves flying across in stilted time, slow moving orbs heading into morning clouds, wings flapping in metered time. This menagerie a dream I can’t have. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Staring at the Bay"

Old man sits on the bus, switching seats to monopolize the view, his back turned on the open road watching the shipyards fade into the distance. His face suddenly remorseful as if he has lost some sweet love to the ocean. Old lady sits in her window as the bus passes by, her pale pink sweater mirroring the sunset while she gently runs her fingertips over the porcelain cats on the sill. She has the same sad look staring out above the shipyards. My heart tells me she has lost this old man on the bus. My heart tells me he has lost this old lady in the window, and all they can do is look to the ocean to find each other. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Skeletal Hand"

Naked, white birches scattered among the turning maples like the crooked, skeletal hand of an octogenarian. The heavens are a slab of muted slate that hovers over my head with a sad, glaring oppression tearing into the flesh. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


The hills are set in rust like a great iron sheeting accosted by winter’s reign. The trees don’t look alive, but like two-dimensional tuffs in a Bob Ross painting. I can’t stop thinking about happy little trees. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


Noise from your mouth drifts into my airspace like shards of glass. I cannot find the words to tell you the truth. You like it like that, you and me alone with your face like a mirror forcing me to watch my own internal suffering. You exist in your selfish, cap-sized world locked in the basement un-evolved, yet judgmental of me. You smile The pain settles like fallout on my face, smudged and dirty, twisting in the wind. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

Monday, March 19, 2007


Parked in front of the KFC drive-thru speaker, a toothless woman is hanging out the open window of a rusty blue Chevy truck, with arms flexed, and crossed over the door tightly as if she feared falling the two feet towards the ground. Her right hand cradles her cigarette like a lover as she drags its’ breath hard, and long enough to cave her cheeks inward to meet each other over tongue and under palate, while cutting off the smoke so it slips weakly from the corners of her mouth. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Haggard and Halloo 1/07


My feet instinctively follow the path to his room. In darkness, flesh is bared tentatively, anticipating the burn of his fingertips on my skin. I want him to take me, then take me again. I want to inhale him, to devour him, to swim in the waters of his passion under the haze of this smoke screen as his mouth tastes the salt of my skin. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

I lay here near breathless from the pneumonia that has filled my lungs with pus and fluid from the whisper of bird flu. A bead of sweat trickles arduously slow down the center of my brow, but my body so weak I cannot even raise a hand to wipe it clean. I feel my heart race faster, and I have long since lost the clear definition between being awake and being asleep to know if this is all true. I find myself in my hospital gown, in the center of the street, surrounded by an army of people in surgical masks, with dead chickens in arms extended. They come at me with great, grave purpose, all arms stretched in my direction. I cannot see their mouths, yet I know the devil is stuck between their teeth. I stand there paralyzed in fear and weakness, and think it an awful shame that this is the last thing I will see before I die. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by The Cerebral Catalyst 11/06


We sat across from one another in the lush grass of summer, our legs folded Indian style with knees so close I could feel the heat of your skin. You talked into the shadows with your face barely visible and you voice trailing in the air, delicate and tenuous still like a spider web. I wanted to reach out to you to cradle your face in my hands, to touch your lips with my fingertips. I am enraptured by the sound of your voice, bending my will with the ideas of consequence, and fulfilled destiny. Each word implying our meeting was not born of circumstance, or of chance, but planned on a higher level, And though our paths have crossed we remain bound to different directions. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Lunatic Chameleon 2006

"Abbreviated Sleep"

Somehow, like a spent up crack whore, I woke up instantly at 2 am like I could hear the tinkling of pipes and blowtorches. I woke up like a fetid exhale of toxic smoke, mouth dry and angry unable to get the taste of something awful from my mouth. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #72

"The Park"

A progressive state of inebriation finds me in the park in the dead of night with my back flush against a concrete barrier. My vision muddied so I can barely see your face until you climb over me to kiss my neck. Your black hands run the length of my alabaster thigh as the off-shore wind vaults my skirt to expose me, exciting me. The mere imagining of the contrast of our flesh so tight and close lifts me higher. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #67


I am having an out of body on X at a small party of very pretty people. I feel like an outsider. Faith tells me I remind her of Eve, of beauty, of womanhood. I smile inside myself, because I want it all to be true but I know I am not those things. She looks so genuine with her face like light that I want to believe her. Ambient music is pulsating through me, in me, and I feel the love coming on. I feel the need to be naked and close to anyone. I see Faith on the floor in the center of the room, the bass rippling her creamy flesh and she is gorgeous. I am drawn into her arms like a lost child. I lie beside her in half darkness with my face on her chest. I suckle her like an infant, and it becomes innocent to me. I am transcended into a state of wholeness, feeling a closeness to women that I never have before, closer than I ever felt to my own mother. Then I open my eyes to realize where I am, at a party, in the center of the room, ambient music washing over me, and men staring at me with hunger. My mouth envelops the breast of my friend, and for just one moment I feel like one of the pretty people. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #67