Discover Sunday: Bonfire Nocturnalia (Linoleum)/Willie Watt

(and) she asks me whether, “archetypical
beginnings
undermine the rest of
the poem?”

or
whether,

“their self-awareness

prevents
the poem
from discovering
something deeper? more
authentic?”

and
I said,

“it’s an academic question.
it doesn’t matter.
none of my poems are self-aware.”

(and) I’m on a mobius strip
magic carpet—

a syncopated wavelength—
and you duct-taped your brain to the linoleum
and wondered
at the way
things became so ashen
so quickly.

I lit your cigarettes
even when you blew the smoke in my face.

(and) the elevator is
going
down,

down,

down,

and it’s like those surreal childhood memories
(the floor is lava)
that you remember
when listening to an old song
for the
first time
in
a
long time.

(and) I’ve suffered through so many
nightmares—
bonfires of nocturnalia—
that the cracks
in the linoleum
allow the oversized
insects
into the breach.

(and) because
I’ve
asked you to kill me,
and because
I’ve
asked you to hate me,
now
might be a bad time to ask you
to make me
something
other than what I am, baby.

save me from the drunken diatribes
and
swaying lines.
save me from the postmodern cynicism
and
high tides.

it’s high time
we grew up
and grew past
these marijuana-colored skylines.

(and) your ghost
is the only thing
that eradicates the roaches nestling in my brain,
that saturates my vanity and sanity in concurrent saline solutions,
that draws blood from the lips of shame and memory and feeds vampiric on its undergrowth,
that wages war on agony
and always
emerges
bloodstained
but intact.

another relapse of reason
and I
can only bypass
the breakdown
when one of your phantoms
is near—

hidden
in the
linoleum.

Excerpt from Swear to Me


Willie Watt is a student, short story writer, and poet from Houston Texas. In his work he strives to capture the many contradictions and as-yet-unwritten phenomena of life in the twenty-first century. Currently an English major at the University of Texas at Austin, he plans to attend a graduate program in creative writing before going on to teach, write, and lecture professionally.”

Discover Sunday: Inhale/Willie Watt

Blood on the bedroom leaves.
Forest in every direction—juniper, oak, willow.
Autumn.

I haven’t been writing many
poems lately.

You’ve overcome so many corpse-strewn battlefields.
But I’m worried it’ll be my accidental shining reality that becomes the sword through your armor.

Writing seriously now, I guess. Prose. Careful edits. Peer reviews.
No time for natural gifts
or
free association.

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not opposed to happy endings.
Squinting, I can see one in your eyelashes—at least a bittersweet metamodern fadeout.

These have been my best works yet.
But will it be enough?
Have I set the target too perilously high?

I’d do anything to break your cycle of self-torment.
Well, almost anything.
I couldn’t compromise myself even if I wanted to.
Not anymore.
Too much is set in motion.

THC & Caffeine & Nicotine & Alcohol & Adderall.
I can write on anything.
It doesn’t matter anymore.
I’m becoming as good as I thought I could be, and its as real as it is unreal—as satisfying as it is shocking.

I know you love me.
You don’t use the word. Afraid of frightening me off, I guess.
Instead, you say, “you scare me.”
I wonder if you know that I’ve decrypted your code?—would you just out and say it if you knew that I knew?

I’ve become realistic as the golden days approach.
Ironic.
The more I understand my unrealistic greatness, the less I daydream impossibilities.
The long-shots have become not just possible, but probable.

I want to make it work. I mean it. Really.
I just hope we can keep ourselves in the process.
I know I will, for my part.
Can you do the same?
I like to think so.
Not sure, though. If I’m honest.

Ink on paper. Digital transcription.
So many hundreds of thousands of words.
I’ve got to be nearing that ten-thousandth hour.

Don’t panic.
Inhale.
We’ll get where we’re going.
One way or another.


Willie Watt is a student, short story writer, and poet from Houston Texas. In his work he strives to capture the many contradictions and as-yet-unwritten phenomena of life in the twenty-first century. Currently an English major at the University of Texas at Austin, he plans to attend a graduate program in creative writing before going on to teach, write, and lecture professionally.”