RJ Ingram

[When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes]




For you, sex, light is a real person

to love without language unless language

in our quiet corners pushes selvage

off of each other & back into the bone.

Gravity keeps our bodies apart enough

making empathy a lustful act above

all others. Your hands are just a pull

& remind me I knew you as sound first,

sound wrapped in systems of inversion.

Haply I think on thee, and then my state

of unending inversion, off to the side.

No, the desire to call our love anything

cannot be heard against space’s scrim:

in a silent void there is just him & him.


for Michael

on Mangiafuoco’s stage



i’ve got no strings to hold me down

to make me fret or make me frown

my whale my lonely street corner

with 12 of us itching to be let out.

they think i bought my sex in a shop.

do you think i’m closing? i’m closing

i’ve got a jigger in the drawer & i’m closing.

blind beggar cut in his own gut,

carved the last star on the wall.

but he’s gone too, left me like he left you.

they got their black senate out there

kissing me & millions of strange shadows

but on you tend to the street’s republic of luck

& here i am dancing it off in a quorum.

Pontius Pilate Becomes the City




Against my love shall be as we are now

we the lovers of exotic backyards

or just the lovers as some people say

there are only one of us now i guess

but we still commune as if multiple

have you ever tried to bingo alone?

i didn’t think so it isn’t easy or hard

but we love it & we love you for trying

we want you to get the most from our

stay here so when you pick us up try

putting us in your back pocket

don’t sit on us but you can if you want

we’re only small on high holidays

we’re only here for a little while longer

The Politician’s Love Song




summer & the museum is sundress

where after bloom everyone asks when

as if the seven seconds the yellow

light hid from us were celebratory

that sin by him advantage should achieve

marble cutouts carried us when

you took me in my mother’s basement

in Ohio we revel in the seasons

that strip wine around our teeth in gulls

no, i’m not here to read you a poem

our clothes are on the floor, harps

in the back of our throats keep singing

my mind still on the last song played

& yes, i am here to read you a poem


RJ INGRAM lives in Oakland and is pursuing an MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California where he edits Mary: A Journal of New Writing and works as a social media editor for Omnidawn Publishing. RJ’s cat Brenda lives in North Carolina and lost a leg while blackberrying with Mercury in retrograde. @RJEquality