A Poem by Allison Hummel

Squid in its Own Ink

I used to listen to Jacques Brel Is Alive and Singing in Paris.

Now I sit on the couch with a towel in my lap,

I eat rice and beans, find the day exhausting.

I think about godlessness, and about

how wisteria

is in a constant state of diving-down,

or of descending, like rain.

Wisteria: always awaiting

Hyades, or a girl that needs

a pretty photo taken.

In an odd twist, I am informed that

Jacques Brel is Alive and Singing in Paris

is very hard to find, and my copy

has joined the angels

someplace opaque and unknown to me.

First found in a stagnant closet

before my adulthood, last lost and

I am here now with my dishrag and

little phial of alcohol.

I clean the apartment with vigor and eros.

And life is small,

suitable for daily use.

It withstands heat,

it sometimes proffers pleasures:

The hot blackness of night,

hot bar of soap in the shower,

next morning.

Summer showed up yesterday

squawking even at midnight, among

our resting cloud of lime-tone parrots,

and I played Jacques Brel through the television,


what that might make the neighbors


Allison Hummel is based in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Her work has recently appeared in Gasher, A Velvet Giant, The Cabildo Quarterly, A Glimpse Of, and other journals.