Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘The Ice! Is Gonna Break!’ and other poems

By: Zach Arnett

The Ice! Is Gonna Break!

You should bank all that want in a sno-cone
cup, pitch it in the old dessert fridge downstairs
or I’ll never get to sleep. Lately all
my dreams are of blanched men with furry Mar
-fan fingers. There is no French for the feel
-ing of wintry drum; I’ve checked. The in
-take nurse surveyed my balls as I coughed and
saw enough, I guess. One thing I did down
in the well was hold my breath lay it still
on the floor and let the mice swim it in.
A picture of you grows smaller as the hole
gets tall. You’re holding a paper with today’s
date. The water below hollows out for
something massive-a teased barrel perm of –


“Horses fuck inside me”

We can’t name the horses as they do hurry
skurry. Nor their dry mouths and hair waxed
into the floor forever. We can’t name the sound
of twenty-eight gauge pins flailing or what that
costs in money. Heart of the ocean much?
We never caught the Reynauds above my
neck so by apple picking I’m a crass and
perverted ghost. We can’t name the future
of balloon-supported lake walks, urinal handle
sweat, dog years of graffiti on the fucking Burger
Barn. We brought home the smell of propane
cans swaddled in the nest of a Nissan fork truck.
Are our smiles an expression of beet-
sweetened mustache? Keloid candy buttons
on your elbow electric in the morning. Spines
pick a side to settle atop this refurbished
mammoth fabulously rich in nerve endings.
We can’t name the nuns at the chili bowl sale
scooping rice out of lemoned water.
We can’t taste red stacks of non-conforming
tags. Huff eighty grit down to the original wood.
We can’t name where it hurts when we look.



You need marshmallow
to work as innards.
Family Dollar’s out of innards.
You need red 40
to pass as real blood.
Family Dollar’s out of real blood!
Staple me into this hospital bill that
says it’s not a bill then empty your
your kid-head of mortal bondage-
The salt content of celery juice,
Schrader vs Presta valves,
caution tape wrapped upside down.
Yeah, and that app forecasts
the decaying fox back to life
refreshing choke cherries
in the first snow- yadda yadda..
Air escapes the Dyson Hand Blade
like fasolah all smooshed together.
When I got sober I shoved my
heart on the AM bus to wilderness
camp somewhere in Utah.
She walked back out of the
mountains 12 pull-ups abler
flashing Too Small in my terrible master.
The thing is Addy’s getting old
Time now fits in both hands.
What is ours here and what are just days.
Days, endless days of thin burritos-
Before, this flattering mo-cap suit
realized the green around us, now,
I couldn’t feel further from my mother.


Last Free-Standing Carousel

Maybe the mayor’s keen on coxswain polos, gauss checks,
the bottle redemption center, everything hard but never gives,
DUI cops, clean piss and placebo, the Trump metaphor,
big meat head surfers punching in watermelons, Deion’s
40 time, the knife between his teeth, heel dumps
and otherwise the common folk. We clean the fridge
on Fridays in this office. We don’t know Logansport
from Newport Outlet suite, but my mug says “Happy
to Serve You.” I measure its roundness. The hole
shrinks as I watch. Mrs. Conliff finds little dead bird
heads from the mating peregrines atop the IMP annex.
It chugs a whisper reed of smoke to cough the Kokomo
out of me. Do you go to Logansport for the frisbee golf?
Well, do you go to Disney for the milk? No one answers.
Not Jefferson who found a swatch to match an irritation
on his hip. Not Dan, Local 4863, who slipped a camo cover
on his Wi-Fi’d couch. No one in the Festival Tour seat.
Not even the mayor. We just want our casts off before prom
if only to get the Hefty bags out of the shower. Our grenades?
A bunch of grapes. We want to hear our head flush through
our nose. This many whippet duds in the gulge? Of course,
they can’t mix Jeff’s shade. Of course, the couch stuck in recline.


Zach Arnett is a magnet tester out of Fort Wayne, IN. His work can/will be found in NOÖ Weekly, 90’s Meg Ryan and Stone of Madness.

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