Skip to main content

from Baffling


Exile’s an album to which I can no longer listen.
The top of the stairway’s so steep it becomes
a ladder, but this disaster doesn’t have to happen
if alms cross palms. Publicists

are frustrated : I’ve no trance state tailor made
for pre-sleep release & so they’ve given up,
aghast. The mall security guard kicks kids out
of the food court for stealing plastic spoons.

Frogs are dancing in the pot. Somehow,
none of this scans.



Our tour guide doesn’t remember me,
but he’s comforting regardless. Wind under
puffer jackets lifts us up, over the accident.
From this vantage,

it’s easy to see how carpet bombing’s
symmetry’s achieved by default. I’ve scrolled
lower down, re-uploaded the blood. All extent texts
suggest I’ll miss my cue

& you’ll give up & goest. My exile
is your facepalm whenever you’re cross.



Your refrigerator is running so
go catch it, I joke, but also it’s awake
& pings at its app. Demurely as you can,
drag down the moon man &

drape him on the cross. Aloft on the breeze,
you can’t see the forest for the thorns. You’re
crowned with flowers. You’re a model rocket,
parachute folding in on itself. You’re tossing nickels

from atop skyscrapers to crush the skulls
of loan officers retrocloned into vintage bomber jackets.



You’re a thorn worn down from terse words like home
& work. The opposite of imposter
syndrome : these many empty chairs. Lights out,
locked down. It hurts to walk on wounds newly

bandaged, so let’s Shmoop ahead, dig it out,
disinfect. I enter trance states whenever
I pre-pay for the loot crate : an hour
glass, three sheaves of wheat, small tubs of kraken

pate. You’re my lock screen, you’re my dream state.
Exile is our warehouse emptied of song.





Chris McCreary is the author of four books of poems as well as the chapbook AmoUng (Shirt Pocket Press 2019) and, along with Mark Lamoureux, Maris McLamoureary’s Dictionnaire Infernal (Empty Set Press 2017). He lives in South Philadelphia with Frida the cat. You can find him on Instagram at @chris___mccreary.