Three Poems



I want to rock with you
for ten minutes
then I want to spend
a half hour
deciding if I should take a cab
or the subway
back home
because my stomach hurts
and my skin is starting to break out
and I’m sweating bad
(fuck my body)
also I have a headache.
Give me a pot of warm beans
or something better if you want to make it
and sit me down on the sandpaper couch
with its tangle of springs probing my thighs
and tell me I need a new job or I’ll go insane,
then turn on a show about surviving in the wilderness.

If you’re lost
stay put
build a shelter
and wait
and wait
and wait.



I used to study Bartleby, Lanval, Manfred,
now I rate movies on Netflix.

“Pretty good,” I mumble to myself, swallowing a mouthful of cereal,
“but is it five star material?”

I squeeze some honey onto my spoon,
dip it into the dewy bowl of granola,
then sail it slowly towards my mouth.

I am a very mundane person.



The mansion has a zillion floors,
Twenty thousand bedrooms,
Ten thousand bathrooms,
sinks everywhere,
a handful of dishwashers,
one of those overflowing heated pools in the backyard.
Oh, and the backyard is also beach.

The people on the beach,
are not regular, everyday beach people.
You can tell because no amount sunscreen
can mask that regular, everyday beach people smell.

sniff, sniff—

Not on this beach.
This is a Hamptons beach.
On this beach, it only smells of summer
and money.
Not a trace of shit.
We’re just visitors here.
My friend’s rich uncle owns the zillion floor mansion.

I see an older, nimble-looking man walking a dog,
his hair is rich-looking hair,
his feet are rich-looking feet,
and, of course, his dog is a rich-looking dog.
“Sup?” the dog barks.
The man grins a rich, older man grin at us.
He doesn’t know we don’t belong here yet.

We wave and smile.
He sees the shit in our teeth,
walks quickly away,
towards a rich, older woman,
who is walking a rich, older dog.

On our last morning there,
I walk into one of the ten thousand bathrooms,
look in the mirror—
the entire tip of my nose is swollen and red.
I touch the blemish.
It stings.
I probe the pocket of infection growing under the skin.
“Gonna be a big one, huh?” I say.
The blemish throbs.


Michael Seymour Blake’s work has appeared or is forthcoming at Cosmonauts Avenue,
HobartQueen Mob’s Tea House, Barrelhouse, Fanzine, Flapperhouse, Entropy, Waxwing,
Corium, Paper DartsPeople Holding, and Heavy Feather Review. He writes and doodles in Queens.