Thursday, August 26, 2010


The sky is rains starlings
in maize flecks and iridescent
ebony cascade with wings s p a n n e d and diving
from verdant rectangles, hinged on steel arms.

Signs mislead us, driving into
twilighted spring winds
feeling devoured
like fat worms after rains, flesh
and grit pierced with golden barbs, easily.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008

Published by Counterexample Poetics 12/09

It is only one pebble tossed


For Amelia

The matriarch died in a flooding
of the world; she ruled
hearts and faces into

molded the consciousness of children
in her disappointment,
fixed tears under shy smiles
with the smell from her blouse
as they buried faces
into it.

A child calls out, “I
can’t breathe” and we know
the psalm of her heart washes over
engorged banks of rivers,
night merging
lost dreams of others,

collecting its own story on the journey.
and again into the torrents
of blackness,
fireflies light the way
over muddy waters.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008

Published by Counterexample Poetics 12/09

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thinking of Sea Trees at Sunset

Small white pills
trick the body out of her fertility--
give her false impressions
of eggs growing life,
cells dividing from the combination
of double helix DNA
swimming in the heat of her core.

Breasts swell forming a mother's cleft,
the weight of them
an implication to nourish;
muscles relax through the hips
anticipating the burden of travel
from one world to another.

And sleep covets her entirely
to protect them both from transformation,
building bones and lashes and teeth;
fingers sprouting like blades of grass;
heart beating as if a hiccup,
no more than a flutter beneath the skin.

Then the last pill, small and blue,
laughs heartily at this joke of creation,
the simplistic human need to populate,
and undergo masterpieces
of flesh and magic.

in the gravity of death,
held firm in its change,
and what's left is a river of vermilion
between supple thighs.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008

Published by Counterexample Poetics 12/09

Lost Identity (after Paul Blackburn)

We get windfalls of strength
that prove to be more
than money and fame.

Time spent choosing braided ropes
of morality and conviction,
                                the core
that holds a personality erect

wears thinner with age,
morphs into a larger
loved ones rarely understand.

Pride is on the line and vulnerable,
so thin and trepidacious-ly
that we don’t know how it will ever recover.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Counterexample Poetics 12/09

By the Tail

She is the definition
of a situation gone wrong—
body filled with sleeping pills,
Morphine and Motrin, enough
to stop organs in their tracks;
arms laden with horse
on a late night death ride
into the blackest sky she’d ever see.

30 minutes down, rocking
in the arms of Grim, kissed
by his poisonous tongue when she
sees the pin-prick lights cascading
into beaming fluorescent floods.
Faces around her bleed awe
at what they have returned,
an unwilling body and a brain
left to a fate worse than death,
worse than the life she was leaving.

Time steals sinew and fat
until she is little more than the living
dead with pinched blue eyes
perpetually angry and frightened,
teeth gnashing involuntarily, limbs
contracted like bird wings.

She is alive in a wasting body,
a prisoner of her own design,
and I want to take her picture
to show my daughter what happens
when the devil has you by the tail;
when you think you are invincible,
only to realize there is no such thing.
There is only luck, and luck run dry.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Counterexample Poetics 12/09

A letter to a real friend


For Lynn

It is hard to take the truth
delivered at point blank range
like a bullet ripping through
even harder to hold back defenses
boiling beneath the surface,
sharp-toothed and hungry.

My disappointment,
in self-pity on the end of her blunt
                                      d sword,
lets me know I have spent too long
in the land of the deaf with all that ego
stuffed between my ears, that above all else,
I stopped listening and therefore stopped learning.

it is hard to take the truth.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Counterexample Poetics 12/09


Morning found me
in a round of alarms
each softer than the last
with gray

light through window-
pain, cloud trails white
as jasmine petals
tucked behind

ear and smile. Form
rising; flesh warmed in
cotton given no hope
             of imitating
                  previous nor
                            the future.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Counterexample Poetics 12/09