Damien Miles-Paulson

May 1st in Mae Sot

This used to be a Ukrainian
Restaurant, but now it
Serves Russian food
The waiters are wearing balaclavas
And showing me pictures of naked girlfriends

Hubie Brown is the color commentator
He loves pronouns
Loses himself in them
“You say:
We’ve got a player here,
who will give
us twenty, twenty five points a game but
I’ve got to make sacrifices on the defensive end so that
he can give
you a chance to win for
them, but
we all know that
he just committed
my fifth foul, it is the fourth quarter, and
I say to myself,
we’ve got to keep
him in the game, otherwise,
you’ve got no chance to pull
them out the whole
I’ve dug.”

Wash them
Hands, it helps to ease the
And think of all histories hand washers
Who washed like they hated their
But it never came off
So they flayed others
Because they hated their flesh
Or thought so

Everybody tells me that he drugs his little brother
To make him easier to carry all day
But I’ve never seen it so I’m not so sure
It is sunny and hotish
They are by the canal
Once a river, again, I’m not sure
It never moves except when it rains
It looks the color of gorilla urine, the canal water
And the boys don’t seemed drugged as they
Try to catch
Frogs? Fish?
To eat, I think, or to pass the time
I’ve never seen the younger one walk before but now he is
Throwing garbage at garbage
I hope they have stomachs
Like dogs if they’re going to eat
The fish or the frogs from that still tropical water

Her boss, who she’s known since they were 12
Told her he’d give her a raise if she published a story
In penthouse forum before next year
She wrote an erotic bibliography
Her boss’ wife left him so after he decided
Not to kill himself, which took a while
Maybe until the Seahawks won
He bought a convertible European car
An airplane
And started to date young professionals in the city
He seemed happy the last time they met
But she couldn’t help think of that trip she took with his family, to Hawaii
When they were 13 or 14
And over a game of chess in Hilo
His dad clocked him, a half-hearted cupped slap
On the neck
Or when he almost went to prison for twenty years
And she realized that she could never take him seriously again
Because he had wanted to kill himself
For love.

A bulletproof journalist,
A pizza delivery man in unsavory neighborhood,
A book open to the midmost, blade piercing the cleft
A husband carries his wife from the street scene of the accident
she cannot walk, she wails and I can think of nothing until I return to the scene,
they are gone, so I keep the 1000 baht,
Air-conditioned hotel room blocks from our former house,
here I’ve been glued, too mute to raise my voice
The mirage, the mirage, the rotten mirage floats in his hands
he holds his daughter,
the dim pool he stares into,
I stare into, all too long,
who is fairest, grunted,
but I cannot sleep without the mirage’s whispers,
Eyes plucked out in sleep, the blind traveler, on ox cart across Russia,
my mind inhabits this world and that one too,
it isn’t all divorced,
I’ve been across borders
And I won’t hide it, so have so many, a constant stream of people across borders without papers,
Have you?
The fat pizza man reporter for the BBC,
he’s been shot at to bring us content,
fresh, dynamic content,
Like a gladiator,
So that you’re informed,
Never entertained?
Even just a little?
The book is there, and I don’t know why, something about abductions,
But what does it matter to you?
Why does it matter if those girls were kidnapped?
Did they matter to you before tragedy interceded in their lives?
Or Donald fucking Clippers?
You should thank him for once again making it easy for you
to take a stand against racism,
I remember in the sixth or fifth grade when the US Military,
under order of George Bush Senior,
invaded Iraq and we wanted to march through our small town of about five hundred with signs, chanting, hell no we won’t go,
To fight a war for Texaco…
Is your indignation any different,
any less naïve and ineffectual,
As if the only important thing is to have an opinion,
freedom of speech, yeah,
Things like that…

There are zero (0) people named Damien Miles-Paulson in the US. Nonetheless, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in theNewerYork, Alice Blue Review and Marco Polo Arts Mag, etc.

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