Yellow Mama Archives II

R. A. Allen

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By Reason of Insanity

 

by R. A. Allen

 

                    After Poe after Gein                                

                          

                  Cut the topsoil

                  and shovel six feet.

                  This disinterment is

                  condign justification

                  for a bedsheet rope

                  out of Taunton State.

                 

                  My fingertips

                  like clawpoints

                  pierce the parchment

                  of your once-

                  wattled neck,

                  tightening.

                 

                  My sinews and veins—

                  an interstate system

                  connecting the

                  scab-towns that

                  adorn my forearms

                  so vibrantly.

                 

                  Ah, to dig up

                  an old friend

                  after so many

                  years—my second

                  greatest pleasure.

 

                 

“By Reason of Insanity” originally appeared in The Violet Hour in 2016.



Cabin Fever

 

by R. A. Allen

 

Why do you stare

at me that way?

Your minatory

reticence a

sullen undertow

of film noir

leaking from

beneath the

door of a room

down the hall.

This formicating

of my scalp makes

me wonder why you

stored the ant poison

in the pantry.

Three days ago

I hid the ax

behind the dryer;

someone moved it.

You've already

taken your pill.

My hands tighten

around a wish

and a plan for

our future.

 

 

“Cabin Fever” originally appeared in Illumin in 2014.

 

 

R. A. Allen's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Quarterly, RHINO, B O D Y, The Penn Review, The Los Angeles Review, Cloudbank, The Hollins Critic, and in the anthology Celestial Musings. He has nominations for The Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net 2020. His fiction has been published in The Literary Review, The Barcelona Review, PANK, The Los Angeles Review, and Best American Mystery Stories 2010, among others. He lives in Memphis by the Mississippi. More at https://bodyliterature.com/2020/02/17/r-a-allen/ 



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