Caleb Puckett

An Ars Poetica for Sympathy Cards


read ‘em & weep,
a royal flush

Singular Chart (Sonnet XXVII)

Oftentimes you cannot conceive of yourself alone,
But as the perpetual conjurer of is to are;
An echoed invitation, pulling faces from afar,
Fleshes Solace’s ghosts from some halcyon;
Whose lips plot music's plaintive tone;
Whose eyes the waypoints of desire unbar,
Being of this entreaty urgently circular;—
The captive heart of a life conditional and prone.

Even such Want is; and is not your name Want?
Yes, by your hand the hard-sought rends the chart
With all coordinates of Night's needful art;
Flings it far down like an oppressor’s taunt;
And simply, as some yet living may haunt,
Offers a solicitous smile to confuse your heart.

Pillow Talk

Desire, the blindfold,
sensibility, the stick—

all the (re)deranged data,
all the spilled errata,
all the sweet nothings
a pinata makes dear to the tongue

from that furious emptying 
of the headpiece
to the breaking of legs, 
we stage the infirmary 
with deadpan expressions,
anchoring balloons with bedpans—

and she says, happy birthday, Mr. President

Caleb Puckett has just come off an extended writing hiatus (more or less). In previous years, his work appeared in a host of publications with an experimental bent, including multiple issues of Otoliths. Puckett lives in Kansas, where he works for the railroad.
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