Question & Answer 5 – Amanda Butler

Question 5

My daughter
hiccups herself to sleep
and I watch my wife
become anxious
and then drift.

I can sit
in this moment
and read Pachinko
until I become absorbed
in boardinghouses.

The night is too
full of danger,
so I watch their chests
rise and fall.
How do you waste sleep?

In weakness
I press my ear
to their mouths
and check for warmth
against my lobes.

If my senses fail me,
I nudge them as if
in accident and close
my eyes in disguise
as I hear them fidget.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 5

My sleep is wasted
in the shatter of breaking news every night –
you’d think it’d be broken by now –
my eyelash is sheared by the shards
but I think I can blink it out
of the corner
of my eye.

The only sheep I can count
are those that show themselves.

Trying to close my eyelids –
the screams are echo-dreams.

– Amanda Butler

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Question & Answer 4 – Amanda Butler

Question 4

Ibis’ head on Horus’ platter
with all of the worms
pressed to the glass
knives and forks
golden
stolen
cutlery.

If you could eat
one God
who would it be
and why?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 4

I would unhinge my jaw –
snake-esque –
and force myself to swallow Hades
because how dare he
have the audacity
to rip Persephone
from her field.
With him digesting inside me,
let her place
daffodils in the Underworld –
in any crevice she likes –
and springtime scents
to cover the smell
of rot.
I can’t count these calories
and won’t track this lexus
and my heart will
attack
these acid reflexes –
if it meant
dandelion wish-puffs
could float aside souls.

I hiccupped while
scrolling through the touchscreen news.

– Amanda Butler

Question & Answer 3 – Amanda Butler

Question 3

If we’re talkin’ sax solos
then we need to keep
Careless Whispers in the footnotes –
because George Michael was magic,
and I won’t have anybody
tell me otherwise.
It’s Freedom ‘90
where he truly excels though,
he doesn’t belong to me,
but I hold his sounds like I hold
Elliott Smith, and Phife.
Who do you mourn
though you never met?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

The daily mourning hashtag news
tells me who to add to my heart
and social media prayers.
Forty-nine pulses pump, and
love is vein-river-streamed.
The first soul I cried for but never knew –
found in pixel flowers
left on Anna’s MySpace
in the comment section.

I mourn for Issa –
also, with every haiku
may peace fly in flocks.

– Amanda Butler

Question & Answer 2 – Amanda Butler

Question 2

Have you tread Clemo from the claypits?
I lived under the shadow of industry
and the shadow of industrial hate.
If I had read Murakami
beside the china clay museum
I’m sure things would’ve taken
a surreal turn.
……..There would’ve
……..been a cat
……..a cat
……..cats
……..and a boy
……..who hates
……..his life.
……..……..And I’m sure we would’ve listened to Jazz.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

Still
to read the imprints in the clay –
though I have looked in the eyes
of the Korl Woman –
hungry –
in this world, I could be arrested
for feeding her.
Whether she sits in refuse
or a cubicle with never enough staples –
still
saxophone solos sing of starving iron.

– Amanda Butler

Question & Answer 1 – Amanda Butler

Question 1

Angelic mothers
the size of a broken librarian
reading Murakami
……..Murakami
……..Murakami
and you.

First act
a robot doctor
walks the streets of Spain
……..breaking
……..the sun
and you.

Fission nuclear
fission
the side of desperation
……..complex
……..instructions
and you, what do you
see?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

Behind my eyes I
see the
sidewalk that might have been clay
under my
……..footprints.

The shape of those imprints would be different
had I started reading Murakami
for an hour before going
to the
……..shoe store.

Maybe I should get sunglasses. Maybe
I should tread lighter. I can’t
help that there is a Viking
in my
……..sole.

– Amanda Butler