Amanda Earl

excerpts from the small of July

All I have is a small down payment.
So show me something modest and secondhand
with an empty room and a window that knows
how much I am still living in the rest of the world.

                                                             —Monty Reid, Disappointment Island

the balcony is a structuralist, opposed to freeform, believes in hierarchy.

is agoraphobic & finds pigeons disgusting, pines for rain to wash away shit from concrete.

is a voyeur, noting entries & exits of secretaries in short skirts.

feels inferior to the penthouse but makes snide comments to the elevator about the basement’s dark & grubby corners.

is a frustrated dominatrix who yearns to be on top.


Machines petrified by the thought of leaving, fears amplified under grid, inconceivable power outside.
—Jon Paul Fiorentino, “240-Volt National Conservatory,” The Theory of the Loser Class

the air conditioner hates the cold, dreams of vacations below the equator, yearns for a rattle free summer day & breezy nights asleep with windows open, longs to escape from closed doors, has tried meditation but regular breathing causes claustrophobia, is forced to winter inside mouldy attics with moth-eaten longjohns for company. would just once like to turn around & savour the view of trees from 19 floors above ground. is ashamed by its incontinence.


I should have been happier yesterday
                                                             —Fanny Howe, on the ground

                              to extrude turbulence from flatline

                              to fashion three dimensions from emaciate

                              to coil fever from zero emitting diodes

                              to pulse energy out of uncarbonated slug

                              to spin a thin rapture from gossamer concrete

                              to build a fun house with mirrored brick weed

                              to be intentional

                              to be yearning

                              to be moving somewhere thru the viscous undead

                              to salvage eureka from elevator muzak

                              to build a white noise castle

                              to worship oscillates, the spiralouters

                              to unpendulum perpetual emotion

                              to bite wintergreen candy where dark should be

                              to sing watermelon, lemon wedge


what damned the fool who wanted me, what summoned the fierce call that beckoned echo to stone, drove sewage from the sea, forsook desire, wounded nothing, salvaged nothing, emptied what wanted emptying.
                              —Nathalie Stephens, the Sorrow and the Fast of It

the brick wall has anxiety disorder, rusted crumbled falling down thoughts of apocalypse & germs. always washes its hands w/ antibacterial soap is horrified by graffiti & keyscratches. on television watches the world trade towers tumble overandoveragainandover until annihilation & wonders how long? how long till every wall falls down ? some kind of biblical reference to jericho the wall has started to hum shall we gather by the river & think about the rapture, eat vegan while chewing its nails down to metal heads & letting loose anchors that hold up billboards advertising the easy breezy lifestyle of beer guzzling even though it’s obvious that such imbibing leads to belly aches & bulbous nose or perhaps that’s rum. rum is what the brick wall craves daily dark or spiced preferably alone w/ one cube of ice tumbling around in a lowball glass to stare into & feel itself begin to fracture

Amanda Earl's poetry appears most recently in Rampike 19.2, the Cultural Mischief Issue, PRECIPICe, Volume 3, Dusie 10, and the chapbooks Kiki (Laurel Reed Books), Welcome to Earth (Book Thug), Eleanor and the Sad Phoenician's Other Woman (above/ground press). Amanda is the managing editor of Bywords.ca and the Bywords Quarterly Journal, and runs AngelHousePress, including the annual PDF magazine Experiment-O. For more info, please go to www.amandaearl.com.
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