Three Poems by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain

Saints with Issues What is an insane asylum anyway? Is it a brain or is it a building?

Is it someone else's interpretation

of someone else? He said his dick was as long as

Pinocchio's nose. She said, "You can't throb

your way out of purgatory".

Then they started

climbing the army ropes

and crashing into

broken bridges.

Tokens started ejecting

out of garbage disposals

and turning into epistolary saints

and ants linked together

the only way they can survive floods.

They came close to diving in to the impossible, but

were able to hold hands instead.

Levitate themselves into their own realm.

They are kings and queens

of spice with long succulent tongues

frothing out pepper and then stinging.

The streetlights stretch into tarantulas and scorpions

and this is not a horticultural trend.

Nor is it a permaculture blend. It's something else. It permeates inside our heads, creates new

perms from insect legs.

Drugged Pig Treats My fingers smell like a combination of latex and skunk and it's my fault for trying on Halloween masks every day

and sipping hallucinogenic tea,

frothing evil tea leaves out of what used to be

my eyes. Am I scary or am I scared

of what lives underneath? I can't decide. What to do from

here? Cry out under fluorescent lights? Burn the candle at both ends?

I drip my emotions into a dark cave,

collect Dip 'N Dots once they have congealed

and fallen like Stalactites and Stalagmites.

I turn my own sediment into sludge,

create my next costume. A cross

between nurse and ice cream shop worker

with glittering orbs passing through history

books in the storage room spout

back out through the shower to show

unassuming males in the locker room a good time.

For a good time, nail my finger

to the neighbor's door,

a portent for torn-open pig

aortas. Apply one of my many pig masks

atop all of their yards' dying flowers.

A pig mask the size of a whole yard!

Use it as a model for a city wide piñata filled with bloody candy.

Let’s start the tradition this Halloween

to cannibalistically contort our own pig tails.

Broken Trellis Another strange blackout. We awaken with bright

red eyes. Creeping vines

quivering up our thighs,

growing into parasites.

Conch shells full of materials

for a questionable feast.

Pomegranate seeds spurt from trombones.

Coagulating pickup sticks

replace the drum sticks, crack open,

bleed all over an audience row.

The front row screams and dances,

everyone amok with gory

life like glue to hold us together

until the rafters explode.

Then the babies start crawling out

of our mouths like sharp instruments,

like estuaries of decay earning their way

by ramming misshaped cones

against the bare feet of parable

figures. Turning them into figurines,

broken and tossed into diaper bags

for the remainder of the flight.

Once mommy and me land

and step foot off

the plane, another plane of existence opens.

Eyes change color again, digits diverge

into enraptured talons. Sound

files sounding us into eternal

release of blood. The only fount,

the new fontanel, oozing out small fountains of ectoplasm

to develop new wings.

Juliet Cook is a grotesque glitter witch medusa hybrid brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at

j/j hastain is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j hopes to make the god/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning seasons of the moon.

#julietcook #jjhastain #poetry