Ellen Welcker

from A Cyborg is a Kind of Hybrid


one thing we found was the map
so beloved, and beloved, the lines were all wrong

like the leashburn sustained in one’s nostril
while hogtied and holding the baby
the advice, so difficult
to read

until slowly,    slowly,
one reads
about dancing

with the man in the man-suit too short
in the legs, in the cathedral of night crawlers,
spineless, goodbye

pitbull in a shopping cart outside 7-Eleven, goodbye
penchant for wanton and earthly things
(like that list

of our losses
salad spinner,
I don’t miss you)

the way humans evolve to rummage in basements

shouting          where
is the container            for all
of the new blood?

the yins dividing up language and things
the yangs dividing up language and things

meticulous dividing of language and things
into boy parts and girl parts
my things and your things

some things outnumbering
vastly outnumbering


the bracketed world
that must be unstapled

the way humans evolve to suck sweetness through straws

the enormous piano that causes an epiphany
(one doesn’t process music appropriately)

(one is not properly moved)

one doesn’t comprehend magnitude
the magnitude of what it is

to build a grand piano in one’s mind

tell yourself you are beautiful
            then flush your prescriptions

            down the drain

don’t eat the shellfish


lead with the fist and skull
            like a goat or a unicorn

            the way humans evolve to disappear amphibians, & each other

to spit and lick on this weaponry
            shining them shining them shining

so stuck in these forms

take to gesture and gadgetry
sniffing & rummaging, liking & messaging

the way humans evolve to save the proofs of their purchases

say you love freedom
            then kiss the man holding your safe word ransom

that’s an example of a conversation

between sometime darlings

Ellen Welcker is a poet between homes whose recent work can be found in Phantom Limb, InDigest, Leveler, and The Quarterly Conversation. Her chapbook, The Urban Lightwing Professionals, can be found at, and her first book, The Botanical Garden, won the Astrophil Poetry Prize (judged by Eleni Sikelianos) and was published by Astrophil Press in 2010.

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