Guts and Glory

I keep telling myself: just “Press” this – someone will see the obsession and I just can’t stop looking at sidewalk flowers and wondering. Thanks, Luterlikowski.


I lived in a dizzy world where colors were brighter and everything sang

But me— the sporadic life of stunted daisies and crushed beetles

Whose guts spilled out onto the pavement like a blackened rainbow.

I thought of ripping myself up from the bottom of my roots

But a passing gentleman reminded me I would surely die.

Now there is a woman who kneels and hushes the songs of the world—

I imagine what it might be like to swing on her ribs or dance on her eyelashes.

The gentleman passes again and warns, but I let the woman twist me up—

There is light on me, and color on me, and I miss the ground— but cannot return.

Are you still there? I ask my beetle friend. Are you? Asks the gentleman.

-Lu Terlikowski

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The Cycle

Why do I see edward estlin cummings lurking around this poem: not the nice, kindly old gent but the guy who drove ambulances in Spain before the world went mad.


The water spills and maids have soaking knees.

You tie them up and let them bleed. So slow

do leaves come falling down. Is snow always

so harsh? Be killed or kill… I choose to die.

So hang me up and let me dry. So slow

the world can spin on pointed toes and crossed

fingers until they stop. No spinning, crossing,

pointing. Stopped. The maids are cleaning still,

you killers killing. She and he and I—

we hang, suspended bulbs for all to see.

So lift me up and let me breathe. So slow

do dying breaths go breaking through the fog.

Replaced with new and better maids. With new

and better killers, me’s, and you’s to hang.

-Lu Terlikowski

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The Chains of Custody

Disturbingly real. Original. Frighteningly hellish. I am wrung. Out.


My God, just straighten up. Don’t cry— do not.

Just eat the fucking food. Did you just piss your pants?


The heel, the boot. Get hit by whichever

one hurts the most. My nose in corners, pink

vomit on tile. Just four years lived. Four years. Forget.

I try forgetting things. The hands. The smile.

The look. So long ago, I say. But no,

I can still taste the blood like ripe spring fruit.

I can still see the flies that swarmed the rot

of counter top meals. Meat left out— uncooked.

I can still hear your voice the day they came,

the way it cracked like you hadn’t noticed.

My God, your ribs. White socks for you. Just please

try eating. Why do you still flinch like that?

-Lu Terlikowski

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First time, then me

Lu Terikowski’s next offering – and I mightly resisted the pun hiding there – with a shocking and at the same time disturbingly sweet piece on why I hate vanilla pudding. I hope – but fear it is not – this is a product of an incredible imagination. No one has painted that way in centuries with such a stark wordbrush. Thanks.


I was 15 when I lost my virginity. His nose was too large for his face and he had hungry hands that made their way up my shirt and between my thighs. He rolled on top of me and hovered there with his legs bowing together where his cargo shorts wrapped around his knees. He rocked toward me and I shook my head.

“Just a little bit?”

His nostrils widened as he smiled at me. I shook my head again.

“Just for a second.”

He moved forward and I inched my hips and shoulders back until my neck craned against his scratched headboard, stacked with fruit candy and video games. He kept moving forward. Candy wrappers crunched against my head and my hands became filled with static and weight. And, as they lay useless beside me, he pushed against me, a very motivated battering ram with no real target.


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