Pavement's Poetry Lounge

New work from Pavement's rising poets.

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic.


Please/remember me/happily. Growing

A Love

In this Time

The time when/

your Hand clutched your Chest when you first Saw me. Your black t-shirt and your watch, calmly showing the Time when -

Your knowledge of which way we needed to go.

Your hand grabbing mine outside by the gargantuan bird.

Your questions, Soft as they come - as True as your Heart.

(You always capitalize the important words - I can’t stop doing that now).

Please/remember me/fondly.

Convinced I have come here for you. Irretrievably Awake with you.

That time after we dreamt (Sunday night re: huevos rancheros).

That time the wine stained our teeth (the fire mirroring our love back to us).

That time you shook your wrist to adjust your watch before running your fingers through your hair and switching your hat’s position on your head (the First of many Times).

Please/remember me/at Halloween.

That night I showed my face. Your chest humming each time I sent you words. Being With You.

Same chapter, same page,

Same paragraph, same sentence,

Same word, same letter.

Please remember me/mistakenly.

I sang that Amsterdam tune to You: “She'll follow me down every street/No matter what my crime.”

Please remember me/my misery.

You shock me with your gracious Heart, despite everything I present.

Your firm embrace after I sob.

Your smile after I pass gas.

Your quick look away after I walk to the wrong door.

Please/remember me/as in the dream.

Dreams of You these days. Just last night, Touching your Face. Cradling your Face in my lap.

So lilac-based.

So fragile.

So This Life (mayhaps some other ones too).

Please/remember me/seldomly.

Our Synchronicity takes my breath away.

(-another note to my lover: remember that Time on the phone - 1/23).

Please/remember me/Finally.

(You always say it’s me, but what you don’t know - it’s actually You).

Your Light.

Your Being.

Your You-ness of You.


A Love

In this Time

(with you)

(for you)

(only you).

Photo by Elijah O'Donnell.

"How to do taxidermy after Wikihow" by grace burton

1. kill it in the afternoon sunlight gunshot till the leaves stain custard

2. buy an outdoor freezer you don’t want to live with the smell of life in your kitchen

3. grocery store alcohol will do you might as well buy a corona for your father too

4. purchase “Smooth On,” the commercial molding agent, and in a separate bowl stir plaster in water, sing bate bate chocolate as you work if you find it tiresome

5. make a cast of plaster like the doctor did when you broke your arm in middle school this time mold it to the shape of breathing

6. you are a sculptor you are leonardo you are witch doctor, saving

7. cut a seam up the mid line of the belly with your fingernail but be careful not to puncture the organs then you will be covered in liver juice

8. loosen the skin in a kind of dance with your fingers you are feeling the inside of skin ripping peeling it like a carrot for thanksgiving dinner or a potato

9. “think of it as taking off the animal’s jacket or trousers”

10. if you rip skin by accident, use tape, scotch should do

11. for anti-rot skin you are salting like pastawater

12. sun skin the microwave will do if you are having a cloudy week

13. tanning oil from your sisterinlaw on salted skin

14. suffocate skin in a ziploc

15. buy an outdoor refrigerator because the freezer is too cold for the ziplocked skin and you don’t want to live with the smell of life in your kitchen

16. skin drapes onto plaster mold you are a curtianeer you are restoration hardware

17. melting custard lemonade, cake batter

18. steal cotton from your boynextdoor and fill skin with cotton until skin takes up the other side of the table

19. “think of stuffing skin like dressing a doll”

20. sew skin shut like a build a bear

21. rope, the one in the garage will do

22. tie it to the tire swing and push it to remind it of wind

23. place it on your coffee table and call it art/alive/your masterpiece congratulations you are taxidermist man

Photo by Léonard Cotte.

"PARIS" by Flannery Maney

Sprinting through the fog

Seen and born and heard and felt

Shining skin, frigid air, enlivening of all the things

Wet pavement, calloused hand, comfort, come with me

I know a local place, stay for hours

Wet ground, dry wine,

We are alive as music swells, the sway of former things

Thick oils on the walls, comfort, mother, guidance, come with me

Horns and deep vocals, rasp, clasp my hand in yours

Two languages collide, laundry lists of stories

Blaring light refracting, flashing from the Seine

Jump in, ride along in the sweltering swerve, come with me

We are the Spring leaves, swaying, soaking in water

Our sneakers run on the pavement— ancient, tiny minuscule

Pieces under—former lovers, grandfathers at war,

Ancestors crawling forward, holding onto the stem, come with me

The Seine is life, it breathes, it moves, it peaks, it guides

Sit beside it, touch heaven, touch wood,

The Seine is danger, the Seine is lifespan, everything we need

And everything we lose, ebbing and bobbing with spray, come with me

Until the leaves freeze over and fall and die. Seen and born and heard and felt and gone

come with me

Photo by Andrew Neel.

"19" by melissa booey

From her book of poems: BIRDBRAIN

I walked a man

I walked him like a dog

At the end of the road I let him loose

It was not a pleasant conversation.

He shielded

Only to heel like the dog that he is

Or the dog that he isn’t

Or the dog that he never was or never will be, because he’s a proud, decent man and

I’m a batshit broken record.

I talked myself

I talked myself up and down like a fool

At the end of the day I held the phone

It was another one-sided conversation.

I tried

Only to rely on undried tears that won’t

Or haven’t seemed willing

Or haven’t felt ready to throw in the towel, because you can’t fix a broken record and

I’m not batshit all on my own.

I found a friend

I found her like a trail

At the end of the line I lost her way

It was an unspoken conversation.

She searched

Only to learn how offtrack I had wandered

Or far down I had fallen

Or far forward I’d actually flown on my own, because I’m not as batshit as the broken records told me I was, or wasn’t, or never will be because

I’m a proud, decent person who will never make it out alive.

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