Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why it's good to have a place called home

They let the apartments go this spring,
let contorted eaves remain untouched
after the cataclysm of high winds
destroyed everything like the monstrous
tangle of Medusa's coil.

Swallows arrive en mass building nests
in fissured awnings and on the flat-topped lights
above our green doors. The noise astounds me,
the screeching birds explode at once from their fresh columbary.

A robin's head pops above the hem
of uncut grass, hunting fat worms in early dew,
riffling wishes from dandelions
and liberating them into the hazy morning.

The parking lot is empty now,
the business men off to lofty glass houses,
stones rattle in the pockets of their gray suits.
They will sit behind sleek, mahogany desks

with the view of the valley unencumbered,
but they'll never have the time or cause
to enjoy it with phones fixed to their ears
and a false assurance in the nod of their heads.

I sit on the curb in the crest
of the circle at ground level
and witness everything missed
on a daily basis--

bird shit and gravel, sun glinting
off the stop sign, jet trails in the blue
and the far off sound of trains on track
that complete this garden utopia
just on the wood's edge.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Published by Creekwalker 7/09

Messier 35

For Beto

You recall the memory for me about when your hands
were covered with purple earth, when you cut
your mother's existence into the canvas,
a blossoming repetition you couldn't explain.

Helio came in, unfolded his celestial compass onto the floor;
heavens strewn across the earth almost as amazing as in sky,
and he tells you she is here. A long, slender finger pointing
to a bundle of stars; She is sitting at the foot of Gemini.

And still,
you can feel her hand upon you,
her fingers lightly touching your hair.

You tell this moment with glorified innocence,
taking sun with a tortoise and a dog,
hummingbirds hovering over your face, unafraid and close,
their jeweled bodies reflecting onto oiled skin.

In my winter, I consider how time is the ultimate master;
ordering light at one end of an arm, darkness at the other.
His fingertips great magnets moving worlds
separately until converged in one.

I imagine you lying there on baked earth,
your dark hand resting on the turtle's rough shell,
the dog panting softly in your ear, with birds in your eyes.

You are St. Francis of Assisi calling them,
waiting for the solemn whisper of night
to return your mother home.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Creekwalker 7/09

He is sending me into the sea

On the water’s edge, where foam
kisses sand and sea glass nestles
between kelp and littered mollusks
until high tide takes their surrender,
he screams into the ocean.

Bottled anger and demon sadness
that is touched with love releases
and scares leery bystanders
up the near empty winter beach;
they scatter like clouds
along the gray horizon.

Winds cut sharply into his face,
tears frozen thick enough
to bore through, memories of warm
hands ice fish into his core,
leaving him somehow less numb
and more human than before.

Salted waves lap against sneakers,
toes getting wet with the beginning
of life and the end of life,
as he gently gathers shells in hand
to give as smiles in another time.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Published by Creekwalker 7/09

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
Published by Creekwalker 7/09

White Lies

I take the left fork
in the trail to avoid disappointment
and only light my secret
once I have passed the surge
of buttercups on the fringe. I like
to smoke sometimes, but can’t bear
what she would say if she knew.

Up here, the air is ten degrees cooler
and the trail’s edge is littered
with thick tufts of carpet bugle,
and climbing roses strangle the underbrush.
It is cut throat here; they stand on top
of each other for sustenance—reaching
their thorns across a sweet honeysuckle’s
face, bleeding her pale and withered.
One can barely discern where raspberries
begin and roses end, both fruitless now.

Near the end of the paved path
there is a hole in the branches web,
the red of Canadian Columbine catches
my eye as birds dart through for cover.
I am a stranger, upright and un-feathered,
and they call warnings I do not heed.

I am swallowed by conflictions in nature
and the smell of tobacco burning between
my fingers, remembering that she still tells people
how she caught me smoking last summer, just
that once, and it was a mistake.

So now the taste has gone bad, fetid and dirty
in my mouth, head swimming from its rush,
and heart tripping like a hammer. I snub it out
on the concrete before descending back into humidity
and neatly shorn lawns and cookie cutter
buildings, back into reality.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Creekwalker 7/09

Jesus doesn't have a woodshop

you want that built in baby
the girl that fawns all over you,
washes your clothes
and fixes your meals.

you want that built in vixen
to lead you to the bedroom
and shove you down on the sheets,
climb aboard and be the captain of you.

you want that built in little girl,
with her sweet smile
and coquettish eyes that beg you
to save her soul from the world.

you want that built in woman,
the one that navigates the sea
without a lighthouse, without a flare
and finds shore every time.

she doesn't live here
she doesn't exist here
she doesn't want to be
the craft of your hand.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008

Published by Gutter Eloquence 5/09

Reasons for Not Sitting Still

“If I had the stars of the darkest night…”
--Bob Dylan

I sat down with good intensions
of writing a letter to my father
to tell him about my life, right now,
but lingered in the fact that it always
feels like a quarterly business report;
a laundry list of happenings he won’t
ever be a part of, special moments
never returned. I think about a poem

written by a friend darning losses
of important men: fathers and uncles
and brothers. And I wonder if your own
disappearance in the end will fill me
with regret, or worse yet, will I know
how to mourn something I never had.

Summer is lurking around spring’s
short corner, and the evening sings
with trains, smells of honeysuckle
and newly shorn grass; a few escaped
dandelions that survived the blades,
wave in the light breeze. I feel
ten years old—bewildered and curious
by your existence, wanting to have enough
strength to bridge this gap, to swing
on the stars of this night hoping for words
that rarely come. I am surprised how
my well runs dry and my tongue falls
mute in your presence.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Published by Not From Here, Are You? 6/09

Apartment 22

Jorge climbed the stairs of the tenement apartment building whose walls were as thin as whispers, and he heard snippets of each family’s life as he ascended the stairwell. His feet made the worn wood bow slightly and they groaned and creaked for no one. The hallways were dark and scattered with mouse droppings, smelled of decay. Garbage cluttered the corners and broken toys lay on dirty floor like orphans.

The death of sounds was common here. No one cared where they went or who made them unless it disturbed their sleeping habits. It wasn’t uncommon to eat lunch to the sound of gunfire or hang the clothes in the apartment to dry, listening to the sound of fists contacting a face. He lamented the fact that this life had taken away their compassion and left them numb to atrocities in their own backyards. But this was what he could afford on his meager pension from the mill. He could do no better than this and it made him hang his head slightly.

On the fourth floor, he stopped. From apartment 22 came a noise he was not accustomed to hearing. It drew him closer to the door with its peeling burgundy paint and lopsided, black metal numbers. It was music. It was tender and passionate and he hovered at the door silently, aware of the space around his body as it filled with warmth at his own excitement. He leaned in with his ear pressed to the jamb forgetting about the building’s filth, forgetting that many would sooner shoot you than look at you if you came close to their doors, but he could not draw away….not yet.

Jorge placed his hand against the beveled wooden face of the door. He held his breathe to not miss a sound. He felt as if his entire body were set afire right there in the dank hall. He felt his cock twinge between his legs at these sounds. He felt like a man for the first time in many years, thought about his youth and how he spent many nights with women clutched in his arms, sliding deep into them, enjoying the musk of their bodies and how their mouths let out the music of their sex. Those were good times. They were nothing now.

Notes escaped from the cracks around the door spilling into the stale, heavy air of the hallway. They were sweet melodic effluvia that danced in the air, kissing his face, and Jorge knew at once it was a woodwind. He listened carefully as the woman, yes….he was sure it was a woman playing, blew into the instrument. It is a flute, he thought.

He imagined the delicious pucker of her lips pursed over the curved hole. He heard the deftness of her fingers as the padded keys brushed down onto the silver body covering the holes where air would stretch into music. He could hear the sole of her shoe lightly tapping on the hardwood and imagined her graceful neck and slender fingers. Jorge closed his eyes and drank her music imagining the swell of her breasts as she inhaled to put strength behind the notes. He wondered what it would be like to run his hand up her knee while she played a melody for him, just for him.

His body betrayed him with its mind of its own. His skin was warm and his face flushed. Jorge felt himself tremor all over and noticed he was hard as a stone and standing like a lecherous old man at some young girl’s door, when the landlord lumbered up the stairs and saw him there. Jorge could tell she was drunk, could smell her from the top of the stairs where she stood holding herself up on the railing. She had a devious look. She was a devil.

“What the hell are you doing there?”

“Nothing…eh…nothing ma’am.” Jorge said looking away.

“By the looks of the party in your pants, it does not look like you were doing nothing Jorge. You’re a dirty old man leaning against the door, huddled in the corner stroking yourself like a peeping Tom. I should kick you out, or better yet post your sad face in the lobby as a pervert, but you pay on time so I will just remember this. You will owe me big time,” the landlord scolded him like a child.

“I am going now, up to my apartment. I am sorry. I didn’t mean anything. The music put me in a trance.” Jorge tried to explain, but the landlord just looked at his pants with a grin of a wolf. She licked her lips and smiled showing her poorly kept teeth, released another wave of her pickled insides into the air for him to choke on. Jorge looked down to see the pleats of his trousers tented like the pants of a young man and a wet spot forming there like a lewd death for everyone to see.

Jorge felt his excitement fade and wished his cock would shrivel back to its cotton grave. He wanted nothing to do with this weak excuse for a woman. She was wasted in more ways than one. He wanted the dove behind the door, wanted to kiss her skin and please her….take her from this wretched place, but he said nothing more as he looked at the door again.

He hung his head as he walked past the landlord avoiding her intensions. Now he would never know her beauty. Jorge reluctantly left the woman of his dreams with her music and her body of grace and her answer to the reawakening of his heart and trudged past more death to his own.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Published by Not From Here, Are You? 6/09

The Sadist

Little cuts under the cuticle,
nail beds bleeding
imperceptible to anyone
except you, and sparingly
you’d lash me outright.

The welts raised and angry
and I would think I needed
secret degradations to grow,
couldn’t fathom them as malicious.

All the while
whispering to myself,
I deserved that one.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Published by Gutter Eloquence 5/09

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
laughing wildly, “Most definitely.”

Aleathia Drehmer 2006
Published by MUST (print) 5/09

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

Published by Literary Mary in "Don't Call Me Plath" 5/09

How to save a life

You tell me you love me
under the spotlight of a small gooseneck reading lamp.
I feel you crawl onto the crisp sheets,
bed dipping under your weight as you
settle in beside me and whisper my name.
I roll over from my book feeling the heat
from your skin burn me, the look on your face
nearly as intense, and enough to make me hold my breath.

I feel your heart beating furiously on my elbow
as if some piece of your father’s ghost
is trying to keep tempo with sticks worn smoother
than marble. This is a tune he won’t quite catch.

And you speak the words I wasn’t expecting to hear
after such a short time together; my own heart
rushing to the scene of the crime, wanting above all
other things to be able to love you back, to see
the light creep into your eyes whenever I enter the room,
but I can’t be that close to the fire.
I can’t put all of myself into your gentle arms
when I am not worth more than a broken China doll.

Tears roll down the square of thrown light on my cheek,
my mouth betraying its orders, the guardian asleep
at the gate, and I hear them fall into the air knowing
you need to hear me say it, knowing at that moment

my heart
felt the whole of it
burning into us both.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008

Published by Literary Mary in "Don't Call Me Plath" 5/09

Saturday, September 12, 2009


slept in
awakening to soft sunshine,
I stretched
moving dreams
from deep in muscles.
Your words linger still, haloed loosely
around ears,
a touch of gold,
a slight of hand,
rivals Midas,
for every pound
he’s worth.
Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by The Cartier Street Review 7/09


His grandmother yells at him every morning, in a tongue from the old lands of China, before the bus pulls into the circle, and its yellow hull lines them up without being corralled. Defiance marks his face despite his features being on an even playing field and he roars back at her, his tongue not as old, as he reels from her field worn hands. She is exasperated at what this country has done to time tested customs of respect and authority for elders. He baits her until she begins again. Aleathia Drehmer 2008 Published by The Cartier Street Review 7/09

Sunday, August 16, 2009


The darkened room harbors concentric circles
on the hangar's peaked roof,
haloed light circumnavigates
the flying machine's crown.
Bulk metal rectangles pounded
into submission, the blacksmith's sweat
splattered on its walls with each drop
of his hammer, the reverberation echoes still.
Molten angles come together
as conjoined twins in blue fire
still fresh in the welder's eyes,
retinas burning with possibility.
Our shoes clink loudly
as we enter the arched rod canopy,
ancient poles for poisson, hugging
the air and rooted in metal.
The framework holds us all
fast to the dream. We take flight
in quiet overhead breezes
and the hum of shared imaginations.
Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Published by Munyori Poetry Journal 7/09

A Rebirth of the Sun

Outside, snow falls in circles. Moons hide. Suns elucidate elsewhere, anywhere but here. The oven warms my hands as I wait for toast to brown, to be covered in butter and strawberry jam; wait for the new fallen snow to be driven from my knuckles. This orange glow shrouds my face in the quiet aching of the kitchen, produces memories I never made, about flames used to molten plastic into burst tears on rough painted papers. Fingertips blistered naming constellations, tongue licking verses of the Gita transmogrifying words into animal brethren, smelling volcanic after emerging out of calculated graphite strokes. Those silver stained insect wings are imprinted into grooved skin, dry and cracked like desert earth, and knowledge lingers. Words give rebirth to art, lost treasures of color web together in universal law with disproportionate dimensions. I am left with stiff fingers and floods of ideas moving slow through mental gorges, once dry. Aleathia Drehmer 2008 Published by Munyori Poetry Journal 7/09

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Four Invisible Hands

Esperanza awoke to the cold dew of a desert night. Sagebrush and Yucca perfume stroked her face and sent a chill down her body. She opened her eyes slightly, just until they were slits and they captured the image of a globe of stars swimming in the ink of the sky. Esperanza took inventory of her limbs slowly; she moved her shoeless feet, driving pains through her hips up to her back. She felt the ground with her fingers and noticed the dry earth was still warm from the day’s sun. She dug the heat with her nails, lodging it underneath, wishing she could pull it over her like a blanket and fall back to sleep, fall into that darkness once more, but the aching in her bones would not cease. Esperanza lay there trying to remember how she came to this place in the desert where no lights flicker except the stars, where the silence was interrupted only by the wind moving devils through the dust. "Yes," she said, "the sea is outside the window. I heard it." I told her, "We don't have a sea, not here in Indiana." She is now feverless, and she dreams of the sea in every moment, night and day. The church has proclaimed God will save this poor girl and Father Amis comes every afternoon to do the saving. He is an expert in sodomy, disguised as ritual saving, and his face becomes luminous when someone says...exorcism. To him, every mind is like a scout knot; the unimportant facts are suppressed and the imperative ones, only vital things, survive. The trivial things merely vibrate the strings of gospel played on harps. "Pass me the bible please. The ancestors suffer inside a person in such a state. They must come out, one way or another." Father Amis says. The crucifix lay in one hand and a tiny bottle of water in the other. Father Amis always holds this transgression to be very special. He keeps score against the devil. "Open up!" He says raising his voice. Through the open window he could only see, in the far away distance, trucks running in the morning mist. Like migratory birds, they came from the north and were never seen again. "I belong to that wave," Esperanza whispers, "now let me go." Esperanza grasps her hand into that of Father Amis. She does not feel safe beside him, but needs to touch his skin for a while. She can taste the ocean in her mouth. Her tongue is a salt flat left when the sun had taken away what she loves the most. She senses her hand in Father Amis’ hand, and it gives her and uneasy feeling of connectedness that she does not desire, and in his skin she can feel the evil no one else can see. Esperanza tries to lift her delicate fingers from the center of his palm, but he grips her there and begins speaking his exorcism. The words quickly form in the air and then float down onto her chest and into her like tattoos. These words a comfort to her now like daily prayers, she could speak it from memory with him, but decides not to. She lay there waiting for the spirits to be driven out, these devilish ghosts, but nothing happens. Esperanza feels the fever begin to rise and take her over again. She cannot keep her eyes open; cannot will away what Father Amis will do to her, so she settles into it like a bear in winter. “Yes,” she thinks, “I will be a bear in winter.”
Aleathia Drehmer/Beto Palaio 2009
Published by Shoots & Vines, Print Anthology "I Can't Be Your Virgin and Your Mother"

Sparking the Fire

I'm my least jaded in the morning while sheets are still warm from sleep, hair mussed with dreams, and skin shiny having run from ghosts. I wake with cat mewing at the door, white paw beneath threshold, searching for a magic latch to unhook, that lets him curl into the crook of my knees. The TV is on low, some far away sounds of two dimensional, neon-colored faces, my child speaking softly and innocently to imaginary people on the couch, then, for a moment, all is silent save the scraping of the plow's blade pushing night snow into jagged heaps. Door clicks open and my progeny eases in to deliver rapid-fire cartoon fantasies about the time she was a cat trainer living in the circus, and didn't I remember that? Or, are you just too old to imagine it? Aleathia Drehmer 2009 Published by Shoots & Vines, Print Anthology "I Can't Be Your Virgin and Your Mother"

West Coast Light (for David Smith)

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.
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 dream again.

Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Published by Hobo Camp Review Issue 1

The Night Comes Quiet

We found a sunny day and lay in the grass watching the earth breathe, pushed out in some field walled with grass and crickets and warm winds making leaves rustle like bells; humectants smell and green things curl under our noses, a dreamed memory not quite tangible yet. I rest my head upon your stomach, listening to biorhythms. I could do this for hours lost in the adventure of your working body as fingers entwine and we hold hands with skins together, molecules hovering in between tiny spaces, and I wonder how can I make you happy again. We let the earth swallow us up in silence. The light fades; night comes quiet, and our bodies chill with violence. You feel me shiver through my fingertips pressed into the bones of your knuckles, a vibration conducted that you squeeze to make stop; the first stars come out while the sky is that royal blue color that makes you want to drown yourself . We wish things in our heads.... "Starlight, star bright first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, wish the wish I wish tonight." And I think where did that come from? Why is that the most beautiful thing I have ever heard? I break the silence. I say, Bean? and you say Yes? I whisper, Are we dead? and you say, Not yet. Ok, I say, just checking. The night extinguishes everything except the moonlight on your white t-shirt. I think you are a ghost I would like to know better. I curl up between your arm and heart, feel it beating arbitrarily ....beat beat ....beat beat... I wonder how such things can happen in the dead of night, how we just keep going and going and going until one day we don’t. The coldest of summer breezes floats in over our heads and we are numb from it. We don’t care. We stay there tucked in the grass prisoners of ink, silent prisoners of flesh.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008

Published by Hobo Camp Review Issue 1

Monday, March 30, 2009


For Jimmy R.J. LeBlond In the end, his deep black coat touched white, muzzle forlorn, peppered with old man eyebrows that dipped and arched when you spoke to him; they said volumes despite his blindness creeping in around slow deaf ears. His right hip gave him a slight limp, nails clattering against linoleum in fits and starts. He lay at my Pop’s feet chest rising with ease, his breath no less faithful than his heart, moaning in canine dreams; back leg twitching wild. I wondered from across the room if he was off somewhere in his youth walking the Appalachian Trail with Pop after Viet Nam; or taking the canoe’s helm down the mighty Mississippi in the heart of summer; or drenched with rain, tired from long treks on broken highways standing guard while his best friend lay in his bedroll in the dark night’s ditch. Napoleon cried out harshly, legs wracked the air as if in seizure. My Pop’s face sank deeply, shoulders slumping almost imperceptibly, knowing someday this old man would have to go down by his hand, that suffering in this way was never an option for the only man that understood him. He reached down placing his hand on the dog’s chest, “Face,” he said softly. The dog’s shutter eased back to dreaming, seizure exiting with a whimper and then still into even breathing, in to what we had always known. It was the first time I saw my father cry.
Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Winning poem in contest held by Organic Glass 3/09

The Plague of Frogs

Dime size frogs construct pyramids at my doorstep, hundreds clamoring to be the triumphant piece, the eye to the heavens. This breathing swarm comes to me in the shallow hours of the morning after night rains soak the bog, and drive them to dry. They make me vigilant about my giant steps, wary of crushing their tiny bodies into blotted stains, red and brown, toothpick bones splayed out in post-mortem viewing. My daughter will hear the dirge from the water, and crouch down close to the earth, inspecting death is her proclivity, wrapping her mind around its permanence, her art. The hollow of my heart wants to alleviate the guilt of creating a sadness that will strike its mark upon her face somewhere between home and grandfather’s house, producing tears of crocodile proportions, viable stains I cannot undo.
Aleathia Drehmer 2007
Published by Full of Crow 2/09

Two sides of the coin

Box elder bugs crawling on the armchair, tiny black legs tap Morse code in response to the tamper and grind at the front of the café, while large-bodied women cackle around the high pitched trill of the thin. Two lovers study French across laptops; she dressed as a pirate and he with her hat akimbo across his well shaped head; Old women revisit the darkness that lives in their youth, finding some shelter in each other. In the bathroom, noises slip through the walls and ceiling, under the cracks in the door, up through the toilet as a vibration, a tremble that drives me until I am consumed completely as Hyde took Jekyll, and only traces of the original remain. The second side of me emerges. The face that hides under manners, gaiety and social ebulliences. I emerge transformed into the universe just as it was before. No one takes notice. I am invisible, imperceptible, intangible. Forces beyond any of our control, catches the door wide. I step into the wind and disappear.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Full of Crow 2/09

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
Published by Full of Crow 2/09

Stewart Street

We sit on the front porch of your three-story apartment building, the wooden planks unkempt with edges splintering and nails driven up through rotted holes leaving empty spaces. You smoke your non-filtered cigarette, though not the same brand I remember from childhood, the smell less aromatic. It is somehow stale and crumbling like the moments passing slowly between our shoulders. Both of us watch my child, with her sun lightened, blonde streaks curling around her face. She is cherubic and fresh sitting in the grass digging for treasure in the dark earth with an old stick, looking up at us with untamed innocence. I think about all the things I want to say that I won’t ever have the courage to, or be able to find words good enough to bear the weight of their meanings. So we talk about poems and seasonable weather and lean only close enough to hear each other. You turn your head to tell me something important and I am lost in the sunset reflected off your glasses, heart beating faster than it should, unsure of where we go from here.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by 13 Miles from Cleveland 2/09

Standing amongst the recycling

In tendrils of cigarette smoke, listening to night sounds-- crickets and moon birds, we hear the rustling leaves moved by winds in far off storms, the candle flickering as you leave it. Sweet, delicate memories wan in the youth you somehow try to dispel under the guise of advancing age and a fortitude we cannot be sure we really have. You talk about love that never takes its grace, how the waiting over a decade for its return to soften heartbreak’s edges doesn’t come. You understand he can never be the man to make us whole. And in this silence, we face each other briefly, drunk and with the knowledge that the tragedies witnessed in our collective lives could have never been, that we might not have had to spend them dreaming or wanting or waiting for an easiness to find its way to the lines on our faces, into the creases of our quiet, longing moments. The pans clank in the kitchen with familiar sounds, you mumbling to yourself like the old days, trying to busy notions from your mind; to strike out those sad remembrances you know need putting back in the cabinet. I stand here small and alone, watch the light dance off the Windex bottle, wishing I could wipe away the past without leaving evident streaks of knowing.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Rusty Truck Zine 1/09

Instead of Fireworks

She twirls on the grass with arms out, a human helicopter waiting to take flight in a dress the color of latent spring, feet bare and lost in the long blades. Her toothless grin pulls open the clouded sky as she tumbles to the ground, dizzy and laughing like a child should, despite burdens too big for her narrow shoulders. She lies there in misted, summer rain with apple cheeks and unfiltered giggles rising up to where the rockets would be, if the night would only show her face. We get caught smiling at one another watching her coil the long, plastic snake into the antiquated birdbath standing crooked beneath your living room window. Her fingers run over the edges of its Italian design, crevices inhabited with algae and rainwater, trying to grasp the tail without making ripples, trying to catch one of us off guard. I gasp when she snaps the snake, sprays us with water. Her smile is a devilish infection as she looks for your approval and you laugh like you didn’t remember joy existed— head back, eyes closed laughing.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Rusty Truck Zine 1/09

Casaubon and Amparo

One day, she plants a great tree in the image of man, culled tiny brown seeds taken from cored bounties leftover, pies baked and eaten warm. She moves fingers through rich soil, spayed earth moist and gathering under nails; places each polished hope, gingerly. Nestled in the corner, guarded by old weathered legs, crossed keepers of the rains and snows and sun-dappled summers. Starling's golden tritons between blacktop brambles all gorging till beaks come away berry-stained and full. She waters his roots with her purple can, speaks to him in kind while trimming long blades with shears, laughing at herself, to him, and blushes cheeks into apples. She drips ruby nectar down his throat stolen from the hummer's bell feeder when his branches begin, buds curling out, and iridescent bodies swirl around her, new northern lights. When he comes to her strong and constant, she lies beneath him, rusty fingers reach to touch her face, gold tears floating in the brush of reality. And she reads him volumes of Poe and Pound, questions the universe and space, knowing he won't ever answer her the truth, but attempt every time. He is there when seasons turn, their heart growing, in him and he never pushes her back or away, and she will smile, one day.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Shoots and Vines 12/08

The Silenced Fan

It is the crest of 5am when rough-throated garbles of the rooster’s crow weakly filter up through a minted dawn on the day of the Lord. Sparrows call the light no one else can see, tell relatives on the crisp pointed maples and heady oaks about the slithering bounty, silver trails lead from a nocturnal feeding on the tender folded flowers in the bean patch. House finches and mourning doves heed the tale, twitter then coo in swirled feathers, the dawn lighting iridescent wings that hover over fat, homeless snails inching their getaway by the nights last true moments. Across the yard where new highway construction has halted, shadowed machines on the banks lumber as ancient beasts, iron dinosaurs with heads rising above red-tipped leaves chilled by the solemn beginning of autumn’s breath. The rooster calls again and brings notice to the shimmer through the blinds, a burning white disc whose beams trick the old cock into dreams laced with coming dawn and cracked corn spread around the dirt. My fingers split the dusty slats to see the moon smile, hear her whisper your name like a mantra until it finds its way between the fan blades gently turning as if lifted by wind. It coaxes me to the shelter of quilted covers where warm child limbs ease me back to sleep.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by The Poetry Warrior, Issue 3, 2/09


There is a hole in her bathing suit, a small window of skin, a great oval of downy hairs and nerves perfectly encased in tropical wanderings as she reclines over a red and pink striped towel as if it were a plump tongue rolled out to taste the essence of summer. It is evening and the sun has taken its leave towards the West, setting on great men left behind in the wake of changing tides, while I lie here soaked in my favorite potion of azure skies with clouds shearing each other, above and below the belt, in real time. The sound of her breath is even and sweet against the early night, filled with bird chatter and airplanes writing their sorrows into the blue like scars, keeps me in a state of flux. The soft lapping of pool water against the tiles and the last of the day’s sun moving across the white fence, seal me into a haunting peacefulness. This moment is viable. I watch the world do what it always does regardless of my existence, despite my flesh laid out on the ground as an offering to false gods of abundance and grace. I could suffer in this sliver of time gladly, as it is somehow more perfect than all the rest.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by The Poetry Warrior, Issue 3, 2/09

I am not one

I become painfully aware
of this solitary existence
as the crust of three-day old snow
crunches underfoot, the sound
in decibels, almost deafening.
Boots invade the criss-cross markings
pledged by rabbits, bits of fur and excrement
strewn on a trail not meant for humans.
Today, I am not one, but brethren
of the hare, seekers of green.
Fallen Sumac berries burst up
under light snow, red confetti
for eating in lean, gray months,
pawed and nuzzled with ears pricked
and pink eyes frightened wide.
The mind succumbs to darkness,
its thick shroud pulled close to mouth,
covering steam created by inner workings. Fires dampen easily
if not for chilled bone friction
that keeps legs moving.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Gloom Cupboard 2/09 Issue 77

Monday, February 9, 2009

Flowers for Everyone

the bartender feeds her manhattans, only chargers her for every other one making it easier on them all. the more lubricated she gets the farther her shirt slides off her shoulder, drunken body leaning in a drunken boat and it reveals a tattooed ring of daisies around her left breast. she can't see much more than the faint, blurred smiles wolves licking their sharp teeth. they want to open her up like a flower, their mouths stinging her like bees touching her secrets, roughly. they want to fill her with the seeds of their fathers and watch her wilt
with the poison.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published By Opium Poetry 1/09


i walked into my secret lover's room without knocking, found marcy there shooting up junk between her toes, toenails dark purple like bruises, bags under her eyes and forehead glistening with sweat. a single drop rolled down her chest until it hit the wire of her black bra and absorbed. i think to myself god, she has great tits for a junkie. and i am jealous over those breasts over her dainty heroin fix over the fact
that she still has him in public.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published By Opium Poetry 1/09


Like buskers, we linger on the streets telling false fortunes and charming snakes of their cigarettes. We are filthy on the inside with regrets that get no forbearance. In hand, we crack stolen pop-shit music into shards; pieces of Warrant and Madonna and Hootie become deadly Chinese stars in our grip. Passersby unaware we are building a shed of blood, stringing victims from its shoddy framework in the back alley, draining them like gutted pigs. I plan on drowning you, by request, in the contents of their discontent, plan on hearing you scream for an end as I keep releasing your head above the bloodline of society. But first, let us chew the theory of relativity between our teeth and bitch about how bitter it tastes.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published By Apoetelephone 2/09 (Audio poem)