Solid Quarter

Blood Jet Poetry Series in New Orleans, weekly poetry and music as well as open mic performances

Visit Trembling Pillow Press for poetry books, broadsides, chapbooks, and Solid Quarter Magazine.

Visit New Orleans Poetry Fest for the annual 3 day poetry festival directed by Bill Lavender and Megan Burns.

Megan Burns' Poeticsofbone&city project on Tumblr

Monday, March 11, 2019

DOLLBABY: Hysteric

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ANATOMY OF A DOLLBABY:: [Category of Display, Madness in the Physical Form of this Female Body under excavation of language] or is this real life.



explicate the construction of the doll
each doll is a book of existence
                                   a piece of hysteria
drawing a familiar  -- linear digression 
connecting us all into one




dear love,

i am losing my mind. it's not alarming yet. here i am still in your sight lines, in this shatter. i am listening to the voices in my head like i never have before. i was always afraid of what they would have me remember. what they would speak of and to speak of it until eternity, we cannot ever erase what happens to us.

all dolls are the same dolls




dear seraph,

you run a code along a line, a sound, you follow the exact path you create by sounds you pay attention to --it's not a telling or a retelling, it's a channel. to open new paths in your mind. a virus cracks it open. an angel is a virus speaking inside your mind. what are you to me. you mirror. watch the way a program runs you.


Construction of the performance: 
what is the poetics of what happens in a bed. what is a hysteric performance. how does the plaything allow for narrative to structure.



you look just like a dolly


can you make safe happen
it's not a wound/ it's a door


 i need you to see me clearly/ this side of sane/ i need you to see me before sound tears it apart/ the last bits of what makes it a story of her/ she disappears / that’s what happens/ she disappears/ know that it’s a choice/ like suicide/ but instead of erasing the body/ i’m erasing identity/ attachment to self/ made up of sanity/ made up of the structure of sound

a poem can be a spell that slips veils. i saw them last night, by candlelight and so you can tell me i'm mad but i know what i see. i know what i am. made by what you would have me be to carve a path to i will heal this damage if it kills me. i am dead and you make me want to be alive.

we want to be sung back into truth



i cut nelly loose after 5 years of being caught in the chair of secrets. who can keep you from holding a secret. why even a gun can't shoot me clear for years, dear brother. dear brother, how many of us die under the stars alone before we can scream. and so now i am the haunting of you.

a new voice enters {HER} the poet's mind :: beyond the angel. another who holds an ancient tongue.


we learned to forget who we are. we learned to never speak. to wade into the quiet of this is a house. this is a table. this is a morning. we are eating breakfast. tell me mother, why i have no memory of ever being a girl.


was  i born into this life not a child. but a plaything. a doll.

she has nothing but eyes to tell you what she’s thinking. but no one is looking.

no one sees her at all.

the doll will not admit what scares her.

show me on the doll where they broke into your programming.
show me on the doll where they broke into your programming.
show me on the doll. show me the doll. show me the doll.


we make everything better for her.





there's a reason the body remembers what we forget. 

there's a reason the mind knows what the body can't feel. 

there's a reason we take the doll from the chair and hold her mothering all we are. 

she can't close her eyes unless she's laying down. 
and we should lay down now brother, we should lay it all down for the world to see. 




Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dear Love

Dear Love,

-for Marcela Liniero Singleton, who sang me this tale of remember 

            what i have learned is much is confusion
            it’s easy to get lost
            you think you hold truth        like childhood
it’s slippery, & memory shifts: you travel back to sift
a collected narrative of the i am all i have survived and then some
            we run programs designed so smoothly we only catch it in glimpses, unbelieving      is that really how we make sense of the world
            let’s back to manifesting
            how from sound we emerged to make all of this, the great dream upon us
where we are all in the net
                        and the net is how we get free, the medicine in the poison
you think what will i sacrifice or you don’t consider & it’s taken anyway
            you put your hand in the mouth of a wolf & lose your hand
but what if you are the wolf
            and now you are in chains you cannot escape with a strange hand filling your mouth
                                    let me tell you how to drop it
let me read you what the magic sings for i’ve a spell you would name a love potion
it weaves nine times round the center where the serpent coils
in the root of what makes us—what stirs us, older than ancient

i would you remember to taste danger in the air
i would you remember to never let go the wilderness of things

do not be afraid of the dead
            we are them: do not be afraid of anything you find inside
it will tell you it will kill you but it lies: there is fear always but never when it’s happening which is to say unlike love that is always happening but you choose not to see –it’s a matter of gaze & what you are capable of holding

what do you practice every day.  what are you honing.  are you asking for things you spend no time handling.  
love is that winged beast who sits behind me & when the seraphim whispers, its truth rings—when they aren’t singing and they are always singing b/c it is in their nature to sing &
            let me turn this rune for you—read there what is in your nature, being human
it is in your nature to forget what you are   (that’s how often we come round) 
we make a practice of forgetting

dear love, why familiar
no one really believes in you
until they do, until they can hold it in their hands
but what of all the unseen gestures
all the codes of love flowing between us
practicing love is gratitude for all the small accumulated, unnoticed gestures
in our lives—it is an old story
so let me pull up this fire i carry inside my self
let me warm you by it so the sound of what i am saying roots deeply inside spreading

there is nothing outside love
it is the only program running
it is the only program running
& we are all so perfectly magical
we are all someone’s blood and someone’s story: why need you believe me in this chaos

you know truth when you hear it: no one has to tell you

don’t you: let me ask you, can you give and receive
can you see it for the oneness it is

let me ask you, can you practice hearing truth before that skill is lost in our bones

will someone have to die for you to wake           it’s ok
we don’t have to be afraid of what is asked of us

would you lay down your fears at the feet of the wolf
watch me slip these old chains, watch me swallow these dark dreams: everywhere
out of slumber we tumble
i see you and mark you well. i have carried your scent in my pelt for all of time.
you can come for me for i know what i am. now i am this vessel. now i sing & next
we find ourselves destroyer of worlds.  what one doesn’t do for love or what one does for love : a boon of no matter
you choose to see or you choose to stumble in darkness: what does not change is the terrain

i forgive everything. i forgive it all to the depth of what i am. & run program

tell me how the light here is dreadful
but nonetheless we carry on



Megan Burns

2.14.19

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

from SERAPH

she says i remember air on my skin
the scent of being embodied
that i wore clothing
the taking for granted of each small bit
memory once you return to ether loses solidity
hard to embrace
it’s not being dead that is hard
it’s that there is no hard

hardness falls away, gleaming
to be in a particular hum of sound
the energy shift required to be human
contained vortex of anything is possible manifest

you are created out of nothing it seems
a receptor sounds the echo of the dead
& so inside the pure echo
like radio waves never picked up

is anyone listening
singing for the dead clears space around
it burns you free of fear over time
the seraphim see & burns right through you

detaches iris to see clear
you see both/ both seraphim eyes
to hear underneath where truth accumulates
to be remembered

we carry it inside us
we pull it up the seeds
why calculate or keep track of any of it
there are no horrible beings
just souls in terrible cages of suffering
forgotten of love, we are made to be filled
and imagine a lack, we feel a lack so deeply
we believe separation is real




i went to the dead
to talk and there in the trees
deeply rooted, translates
palm to bark and listen
to centuries of changing seasons
deep in the core of the trunk
a ring of memories about how the world
has moved, do you recall what it was like to be a seed
inside the shell, do you recall that smallness before vast
branching under soil/ reaching deep into mother’s skin
do you recall more than the trunk of yourself so beautiful
it shatters & the shattering & the beauty get confused
they are wrapped, veil thin
no here or there but always here
i put my hand against the trunk of her
i put my hand against the bark of her
rough and hard and soft and fierce
i thought of the word ‘god’ and the smallness of us all
i put my hand against the skin of her
her coat bristled, i put my hand against her and was sorry
i put my hand against her and we spoke
called me down singing into my cells
how do you word forever & everything
can you follow she asked
outside the body & into an eternal
the trees become the dead and the dead become the trees
there is no excess of form
we spoke and the doors swung open
& you take what you can hold

i felt such shame when i was caught admiring
the tree, standing with her
the fir of her pressed into my face
sweetness & i did water them from my body
they into me memory and song
and me into them, the only word left is mother

to spare just one being from suffering brings
grace into the world
hold on to that she says
we heal as we heal as we heal
a type of magic of moving in & out of our lives together
always we are answering a call if listening
what kind of wandering dog will you be

we stop the flow of fear from coming into the world
that is what  you can do with love
you can stop the flow of fear spreading between us

we are all poor judges
forgetting bliss is available to all
once distinction falls, that no one thing is better
or worse than another then we see the universe clearly

a source of unlimited energy


we all wake up from the dream together.


that is when it ends.