Patrick Culliton: an excerpt from Stop It Crown

from Stop It Crown

00:00 / 00:00

When the dead think of America
they lose their stench.
Oh scentless skeletons,

when my love thinks of America,
does she have new arms,
flexible as stems? Flowers. Ugh.

When flowers think of America
they get performance anxiety.

When Paul Simon thinks of America
he slips a matchstick into his mouth,

stares out over Central Park, and sees
an acoustic sex act.
When Tony Soprano thinks of America

he hears the dread quack quack.
When my soul thinks of America

it becomes Dan Dierdorf broadcasting a fever dream.
When handguns think of America

they sing the number song.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, when Lincoln thinks of America
does he turn to verse?

Probably not. He probably walks the root
system of an oak, silvering up the leaves

like a typewriter thinking of America
that taps ampersands in a line

off the margin and into infinity,
which is always to your right,

where someone
more beautiful than you should be,
looking you in the eye but thinking of herons.


FICTION: Lisa Beebe, Karl Harshbarger, Lauren Johnson, J. Robert Lennon

NONFICTION: Matthew Gavin Frank, Deborah Thompson

POETRY: Melissa Barrett, Thea Brown, Lauren Camp, Sampurna Chattarji, MRB Chelko, Patrick Culliton, John Gallaher, Ricky Garni, Meghan Lee, Kristen Orser, slp, Meghan Privitello, Megan Pugh, Amelia Salisbury, Matt Shears, Raena Shirali, Dolsy Smith, Avni Vyas, Elizabeth Whittlesey, Nicholas Wong

00:00 / 00:00