from Good Death Will Come and Drink the Rabbit Water

we left Quinton, Pilgrim’s Pa, in bed, still in sleep, drugged, slept

as the ceiling buckled, caving in in all kinds of millenarian come-

down sound

uncosmic orchestrate

half sigh, half hallelujah & us three in the hallway

trying to find, to make a way out with what little scope was left

compass of wood smoke


until the outside air, the front steps under us, above the bends that made nest

in the crawlspace but got smoked out, scared & took to Pilgrim on the lawn

two teeth to the high cut of thigh

vampiric insignate

Pilgrim making no rah rah but still a lot of red & me & Missouri

crossing the yard slow to see, slow as with wind in our weapons

& as eggs is eggs

Pilgrim couldn’t stay standing, stepping with some othered gait

grape drank

slipped in his sippy cup, such counterfeited billing making its way to stage

gentle within

which hymn furies all frantic

sing incantate

the come begin!

come victim!

our dim begin!

Missouri at one limb & me lifting another up into the up up & up

from our angle

the crabapple trees give part, give way

cosmotectic perspective

telescoping windowing the what not, what we know we shouldn’t be

a dip, a dance

a hail of incoming mail, an ode, a thirty toed warhead of ten tons by best guess unwelcome guests

a dip, a dance

a doom dressed up in dandies

a canister filled at the corner pump station & Quinton’s living room

behind us



at the movies

me & Pilgrim didn’t see his old man, Quinton lead Missouri back

behind the big screen, featured

replacement sapience

landscape fade-in

tell me what the owls do when they enter your room

we sat, saw Fourth Kind, on Quinton’s dime

a matinée  

an I’m sorry for that one time & Pilgrim bring your two friends from up the street

to see the movie

the movie & Milla

with her big sky blue apple pie eyes, matte black alexipharmic lashes

so all the go

chroma damage branching the only recordings of her unholy chorus

minds wave-tinging to owls at edge-forest, o Alaskan phantasmagoric flora

o moon-science

shit-stirred in world-syrup

evening trees, ovenbirds, epigastric passages spoken

the possessed bend back, broken, occulted

thighs vibratory like the finger bones of Buddha were wiggled between them

all geezed up

ad intra, adumbrated animals every night, say at three

& Pilgrim leaned into me, said

Milla, see, she just puts juice in my pan, can make any man dizzy

like if she were here, in this seat, he said

pointing at me

she’d be bacon & eggs

I’d be egg sweat & gravy

no nose bleeds in the evening

no, no sir, no, yes goddammit

I did the dishes



mid-movie, Milla counting down from ten

on screen attic gods shaking their alien rattles & everything nibbled to death

Missouri said Quinton’s left

gone broke the needle, tried to play her, make her go Hollywood on him

in the men’s room

hummed a woo

boo boo ba boo

bourbon burped in her ear, hocus pocus, it’s just the two of us

till a stranger said, stop from a stall along the far wall

gentle within

so Quinton slipped her an ace note

said not to say shit

claimed he’s a fancy man, can guzzle the grape

but Misery held her place, stuck a safety pin in his pants

aimed high for his hype stick

& all she got was a bit lip, finger bruises that Pilgrim had too

is this the same owl

your parents see

yes it’s smiling down at me

Pilgrim twisted his house key in the theater seat

& I said we can give him, deliver him a good backcountry baptism

lit rag crammed in a Jack bottle, kerosene can take the straw that’s in him

& Pilgrim said he’ll steal the barking piece

pa kept under the bed

& the bullets in the shed

all six

one for the sake to say it ain’t empty

one for the heifer who’s udder aches

one in case first we mean to miss

one with Misery etched on its tip

one a black flag for now or never

one throat wild

to holler horror toward heaven




in Quinton’s Chevy

arrow tip aiming west, August all in the broken window

& Missouri knows we can’t take Pilgrim back to the bughouse

like his pa did

after Quinton went to town on him, committed him

said Pilgrim wanted dead, went eye-water


so they placed him in restraints, florescent space, fastened to sleep

admitted, enervated, saline dripped

into left arm, bruise branching

yellow, dark

his shoulders held to keep from teeth reach, boundaries, polycarbonated doors

hallways of every state of stay calm

restrained in the swimmer’s position, one arm raised, other at the hip

arrangement of risk, tied ankles wrists

Pilgrim, our pilgrim of safety scissors, trashcans

lined with paper bags

so not to self-suffocate

inundated, they gave him the circus




zombie apron



balloon juice

can you say who’s in the room with you

D is for Dinner Theater, Defensive Wound, Devils On Horseback

Cindy singing ditties into a red swizzle stick.

Lavender, living trill of laughter
destined to look like an extravagant accident.

And Andrew riding the aluminum side of his lottery ticket; pompholyx, powder, flowers of arsenic, butter of zinc.

You be the lonely lover, I'll be the police.

Cindy, born marmalade to admire, lie chalk-lit
            in the whodunit,
            lips puckered like a cinnamon nipple.

Chief, the mint pea should be cold as a corpse.
Elaine, ___________
Reporter, please note,

                                     "Oh, God" and "If only."

Eric Anderson was born in Alexandria, Virginia. His work has appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Black Warrior Review, Columbia Poetry Review and elsewhere.