Kyle Hemmings

Manga Girls Need Love! {The Aftermath of Future Wars in Tokyo G}

Kitty & I lie on her shag Avarice carpet. We are breathless from passion play, numb in our sticky toe after-glow. She speaks softly into some part of me that still burns.

“It hurts, doesn’t it? I mean, love.”

“Why? What brought this up?”

“It just does. I mean, sometimes I want to stop playing girl-cupcake & black leather freak & go head over void into this. Sometimes I want a child. Imagine the trio of us on this fragile island. Raising a child and washing your dirty underwear by hand. Making crazy love traces in the snow. But the birds keep dropping from the skies. The green-yellow gases will cancer us.”

I gently lift her chin and look into her soft pale face, her dark butterfly eyes.

“I’m not ready,” I say.

She offers a slight smile, forced.

“Then me neither. I was only talking high wire.”

Her eyes veer to the right. Then her whole body starts to seize.

I’m having PanicAttack. I’m thinking dead unicorns.

Kitty collapses in my arms.

The seizures stop. She sleeps. I rock her gently.

I whisper: I’ll never let you go.

I carry her to the bed, tuck her in. Then, leave.

I stare at the blank wall across from my bed.

I scream.

Blow into an old condom

Because love is fragile & messy & fucked

a cold fire ravishing Tokyo G

& the night is silent as slink-slunk black cat

I can still taste Kitty on my tongue

It hurts

The Mood I'm In

Cheng & I

Salvation at the edge of the city. In ratty-tat bars, where Cheng tries to pick up men whose eyes remind him of sad lemurs, souls of suicidal leaf monkeys at typewriters. By break of tri-color stream of sky, no one can afford meat. No one can afford to lose. Beyond perimeters of broken fences, in an alley reflecting fragments of sky & passing face, Cheng is raped by a man with scissors for lips. I chase the man down East Houston until he is nothing but night without plasma, laugh & spark in pre-war doorways. Cheng says that it is alright. He knows the man, the Agony of Tawain in his eyes, the smile that reminds Cheng of sinusoidal waves of happiness & ennui. He leaves trails at Laundromats, dropping quarters, stealing someone's warm colored socks & greasy tails. For Mr. Tawain, sex is car chase & flick your death. I clean Cheng up but his glasses are cracked beyond repair. I lead him by the hand into the protoplasm of night. We bleed from mercury spill of memory. In late night bars, we rip off rueful jokes from plastic strangers with fruity breath. Cheng's favorite: Life is like finding out your mother was a whore with nice teeth and false knockers. You spend the rest of your life, shaken, outside the hoops, in the dither. Ha Ha.


There are 10,000 cells of lowboys in the city tonight. Festering in under-street SpokeHards. They are wrapped in leather, pierced by hidden thorn. Their mama, your mama, his mama, her mama, the blood of. Cheng is one of them. He works for a man known by automated voice only. His instructions are: Subvert every suit descendent of Peking Man. But save the video games. Sometimes Cheng jokes about it in a bunny suit ripped off of Hugh Hefner. He says My ass will be grass if I don’t assassinate a mugwamp shagging a teacher’s pet. By twilight, the lowboys will have grown hair & boxed in their California girl look-a-likes. They use explosive tampons. Cheng will be deciphering more code: some disposable morphemes & digital trains of segmented randomness. By morning, the city will be ours. The Blue Sky Violators will not detect a thing. Until. Until it’s too late. Until Wall Street lawyers play Jackass for bad head. Me. I’ll be sucking queer tangerines from Cheng’s armpits.


Why Kafka Never Trusted Bookmobiles

This is the library where I /have lived/live/will live/will die from inbred typographical errors. The Entrance is permanent & no way out. It’s another way of saying This Library is the world with four corners built on blood rock and 17 careful arcs. You borrow a life, you exchange a life, when you’re overdue, they put you through slots & bind your tongue. Cheng, who has been here since Mrs. Stools developed cross-eye, claims he has devoured all three rows of China. I laugh & point to India. I dare you, I say, to get dirty with a peninsula. He winces at what must be a traumatic sex wound.

Over by the False Histories of Women Descending from Woolf, a man is getting a rim job from a copy machine with neurolinguistic capabilities. He returns to his cubicle with a blushing face and some stitches. In Science Fiction, a man is protesting, Whatever happens to the squeegee workers? Do you know any of their names? He is shot dead by a woman with a Donald Duck fetish. The Supervisor gives her a warm smile, says someone has to keep good house. Cheng turns to me & whispers that he is tired of keeping a stiff upper lip while the bottom is falling apart. To make him feel better, I ask him if he wants to have gratuitous sex with one of the topless Duo-Decimal ladies who love to flog & catalogue. Such a scream.

He says No. Ladies only remind him of the mother who promised to drop him off at life studies, only to abandon him to paper giraffes. To put a subtle fix on it all, Cheng dives head first from the third floor, landing on the check-out clerk’s desk. She comments that the wreckage might be symbolic . She asks if we should say a little prayer. Cheng’s last words are: Please don’t put words in my mouth. I wish to die blank.

Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poems: Avenue C (Scars Publications), Cat People (Scars), Fuzzy Logic (Punkin Press), and Tokyo Girls in Science Fiction (NAP). His latest ebook is You Never Die in Wholes from Good Story Press. He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com/
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