C. McAllister Williams

Alter & Gristle



There are cities I have known. There are fingertips

I have burned off on bridges. Wire & lost steam.



The oil gets in places. These can't be studied by the lantern

hanging by my dilapidated bed. My sheets are off white.



There are spots I cannot account for. There are moments

in which the offerings cannot be kept straight. The areas



of our geography with the highest altitude are likely

the most sincere. Those are few. We are mostly plains.



Mostly flatland & fire.




The trash pile burns bright. Creek

shine & hustle. My kidneys hurt

in the morning. When I blink I can

feel them, can feel damage. When I drink

champagne, it fills up my porcupine

lungs. A somebody drowning

in themselves is not a pretty

sight. Something frothy—the old

evening sun. A bit of clouds.

The rains. Banks flood with remainders

& misplaced matches. A collector

could gather the crimes, put them

in something burlap, put them behind

the mules. If boils arise, nobody is

to blame. If nobody is to blame then certain

infections are obvious. In the hospitals, things

are more viscous than they appear.

In the town halls, voices carry.

In the fields, a man looses his hands.

You Need to Set Your Motherfucker to Receive



video feed    things are getting fierce don’t

worry about the neighbors     my bracelets

of pink & gold should keep the monsters at

bay     forgive the squalor dedicated preacher

forgive the pantheon of bugs nightmaring on

my face   this is a standoff   all our appliances

are under constant surveillance     the green

glows     our nighttime visions       our gritty

spit vegetables left long enough in forgotten

cupboards to become sentient   let us unleash

our tiny creatures on the unsuspecting     let us

mark the intended survivors with melted down

crayons     all your technologies go well with

my morning coffee    I mean scenery    I mean

quilting bees  you know what I mean  what

with your paneled vans & transistors     your

headclamps & thumbvices     I am prepared to

spend eternity in this little red chair     I’m fine

with the giant rats   I’m fine with the raptors

the rapture slugs the size of emergency vehicles

I have convinced myself that this takes place

entirely in the eighties


C. McALLISTER WILLIAMS wrote Neon Augury (Fact-Simile Editions, 2011) and WILLIAM SHATNER (alice blue books, 2010). He lives in Milwaukee.