SPOTLIGHT: Nightmare Etchings by Jared Kimbrell

There was a Dancing Plague

Men, Women and Children
Faces Blurred,
Puffy, calloused tapping on bleak wood.
The flower droops down,
Shit and piss.
Happy piglets, hot with fever.
The excrement splashes
The petals are plucked
She loves me-
She loves me not
No one survives.

Roswell, New Mexico

Lovers Lane smells like sweat
Oldsmobile leather seats caress your skin.
Blue Note Jazz,
The night air is occupied with Visitors
Saucers in the sky like surprised eyes
Alien litter hurtling to earth
It takes your gaze for just a moment-
As you are being strangled by your lover in the passenger seat.
No one would have believed you anyway.


The wet, slick assembly line-
Processing viscera
Flickering fluorescents
Rotting wallpaper reveals the still breathing walls
The clang of jointed hooks,
The squelch of meat
See it still, even with your eyes closed.
The numb fuzz of television static
Fingers venting the spray of your vomit.
Pigs eyes, searching wildly
The smell of disinfectant
Meat on motor chains, doing a puppets waltz
The rhythms of dead flesh.


When the sun shines high,
Their limbs stretch to impossible lengths
We step into their cool skin
Mirror dancers, constantly with us.
Did you notice when they left?
Constant unbearable heat, mirage lines boiling the air
The light is suffocating.
Where have they gone?
Our tinderwood flesh, flaking and burning.
Cooked ozone,
Begging for shadows.

Retirement Party

Rusty clock gears, drips with spilled time.
Handrails of flaking paint,
These walls are so forceful in their decay.
It’s metal shell feels like splinters in your hands
Old sticky red intermingling with tangerine despair.
Between my ribs,
Trapped in my lungs.
Not a final breath but a scream.


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