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Exorcism with Sage & Holy Water plus two other poems by torrin a. greathouse | #thesidehow

April 10, 2017
Remainder and other poems by Kelli Simpson | #thesideshow
April 9, 2017
I used to Film By The Ocean and a few other poems by James Croal Jackson | #thesideshow
April 10, 2017

Exorcism with Sage & Holy Water


the acrid scent blooms gray & coats the walls like sweat,
how it cools & becomes a stale breath. we burn
the lilac—black, imagine this a cleansing. call
the way a dream inhabits us a haunting, how
it passes through our bodies like the wind, it drags
a note from our bones—harmonicas trauma in-
to music. here, the preacher stands [beside
the piano, mute] & prays water into rain.
what is an exorcism but a casting out?
a strange eviction/hollowing/amputation
how we are made aware of this space now empty—
a haunting revisited. chests made burial
sites. smoke curls into our lungs, the way all hollow
rooms are filled. even air resists its vacancy.


In the Circle of Milk Thistle


i am searching for a soft poem in this mouth
like baby teeth // excavated & dissolving in milk
tea // bone china cupping loamy froth like sea foam
or the harvest heavy moon // i am sitting in a circle of
hawkweed & milk thistle // meadow echoes of bird
song & i wrap my fingers around the stems like tender
threads // & tear them out by their roots // the dirt opens
like a jaw with the sound of slamming doors // the torn
stems seep pale bitter milk // i run my tongue over my teeth
& taste blood


Peter Pan Redux


boy grows up
dreams of never becoming
a man. dreams of sex

as something he can escape.
boy falls in love with girl
becoming woman. or maybe
boy falls in love with

becoming woman. the line
is often horizon thin.

boy dreams of sex
makes a lagoon of his sheets
fears his body’s becoming.

when his boys become men
he drowns them in the sea
each wave crashes. sound
like a dead name.

every time he is played by a girl
this is how i understand irony.


torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer, schizophrenic, cripple-punk from Southern California. They are the Editor and Co-Founder of Black Napkin Press. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in 3Elements Review, Assaracus, Heavy Feather Review, FreezeRay Poetry, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Polychrome Ink, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, The Thought Erotic, Emerge Literary Journal, & The Feminist Wire. torrin’s work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Rust + Moth. When they are not writing or editing poetry, they are trying to survive in america long enough to earn a degree.