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.

Megan Burns' Poeticsofbone&city project on Tumblr

Monday, April 11, 2016

Day X: my surface is abandonment

"a hassled, thieving life"   -A. Notley, Benediction

the universe a vast crematorium firing
under the skin
peel back blackened to sift bone
our parceled jaws
jeering--look too I have thoughts
that conflict about staying
but to all go under, a star winking
blackness, the sole cold rock dumbly spinning
round, we tried on joy & could not find
enough ways to suspend it
tatter happiness, thimble full of grimace
keeper of constraint, how you led us below
crust, a deep soiling: a boy's afternoon treasures
my daughter's head heavy pressed against my face
in sleep, there is no thing we can truly catch
and keep, what have you taken that wasn't
yours to take, we walk away with what is under
our tongues & then forced to swallow
         there is a darkness that I am always right about
when you can't be happy with what you have
you get what you deserve

"we are in charge of the stable world but our vast world of image shared in the sea of the medium of the mind is likewise in charge of us day and night we can have no thought that doesn't reflect from this sea of telepathic communion"   -A. Notley

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Nonnormative Desire: NaPoMo Day 1

"Desire is the essence of a man, that is, the endeavor whereby a man endeavors to persist in his own body"   -Spinoza

desire in the sense of priority: behind what to what
relegate compartment the "prime" life outside
of much difficult for me, consolidate
or a how much allowed space
by extension how it manifests
by repression how it manifests
& if not privileged, channeled
a narrowing begins to shallow root
fistfuls of danger to the lip
exposed to trail in a mere human
skinned version of lovely
for me nothing, easy
& need, a bellowing reminder
could not come swiftly 
to think of ourselves formally
and foremost sexual absent of other
is the epicenter of rupture in representation

[ when we met three years ago, i said, i don't ever want to be in a monogamous relationship again. we agreed to live in each other lives open to the reality of our desires. and it was naive to think that would be the edge of it. that the negotiation of property isn't always happening. what we agree to is being here by choice and not ignoring what we need. or is it to privilege desire to need. is it hedonistic or pathological to submit. can't you be filled with the properties of worth by the work you do, the dailiness of survival threatening to trample. escape hatch we disappear into the normative spheres of distrust, how another pulls self into a void of expectation. i think distinctly about the holes blown open. shot through your life is the trauma played out on your body before you could even articulate the purpose of this vessel and it maps all the way down. to the deep core at which being filled means being a woman, being filled means i have to take it, that strangeness. embody the quick assault of intrusion & how the excision of control means i must be a kind of broken that can't heal lick its own wounds to satisfaction. the reason i often choose bodies other to mine is that i understand them less. what must occur in the mind of the intruder. the mind of the one who can't stay. here where i hold you, old familiar of how we began. once upon. a linking we were all mostly made from star dust. and it all shines the same. ]

"what is considered real and true is a question of power"  -Foucault

"Pussy like girls, damn, is my pussy gay?
It's a holiday- Play with my pussy day!
Pussy this, pussy that, pussy cakin'
Pussy ride dick like she a Jamaican
Pussy stay warm, pussy on vacation
You loose bitches need a pussy renovation
You can eat it with a pussy reservation
Pussy 'bout to get a standing ovation"

-Nicki Minaj

Saturday, November 14, 2015

[field map for a living specimen]


by the taste on my lips: this treaty we met splintering before even made whole this nothing carries me like a bi of skin the losing of you came sudden like a flood we cater the space we are made to occupy a strung along vestige/ now this minutiae rounding i would think you could forgive me anything but now you gather up loss like a woolery/ a carding/ cradle this sheeping/ a mewling that feathers me down/ breaking a chirp that rustles, oh dear loneliest of heart spaces i would return a bargain once made against feeling/ traveled lengthwise i had to cut the thick lines of regret/ i had to cut & cut long after the bleeding stopped/ to free a wound/ i couldn't speak like any other mouth that gets stopped up with loss/ how do you wander so far to come up empty handed, a breathful of beauty/ it rubs the gently rocking/ take hold/ take hands i felt before i felt/ how i would table this/ how you can never have all that you desire/ this is how you parcel this is the wedge of sweetness offered you get this small ration/ heart-throat

gathering not chance
this upset of time
where a sudden        untethered
i don't want & want
can't turn it over / some singing
what do you do to a wound that won't close
wander in a dreaming of what is not real
so you go somewhere like anyone might
to die alone: grief like a sobering
grief like the echo to this line
now a sistering means to hold the hollow of where you were


undo the father
a taken back referral
not specific but this archetype
how family breaks against us
the grain edged
until none & then
a wander lonely as in a dream
where you can identify only strangers
in a fabricated geography where want
was the tangible realness

for with children
in some ways once you say
it it is a truth
the parent's ability to structure
a whole lifetime
we know nothing about words
though all our trade was done in them

"More mundanely it was she [U. Zurn] as we read in a letter by Bellmer from Berlin dated 8.7.1954 who had the duty of typing up the manuscripts" -Malcolm Green, Intro to Hans Bellmer's The Doll

Oscar Kokoscha 1920s painter
famous doll made as a surrogate for his lost love

Freud's The Uncanny

Sunday, November 08, 2015

[field map for a living specimen]

4.15.12-4.16.12 (Brooklyn, New York)

"He maps himself in it it? How? In so far as he isolates the function of the mask and plays with it. [Man] in effect, knows how to play with the mask as that beyond which there is the gaze." -Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis

one does not [  ] cease playing a role simply, because one has begun to understand it. - James Baldwin

object: central complex for the collision - to interpret alone or in a group at the rate at which outside of the mind determines & begins to order the external opinions/ cut down & formed by the first impression then whittled away by every further subsequent thought

body-in-pieces/ body without pieces

the internal rearrangement presupposed for external structure
dolled in extensions [multiple mimicry]
divided into quartered facial contortions
cracked reflected
vetted in the Artic colded hard
fronted as laughter's last result   last resort: retreat
vacation rental culled that spring
overt violence gives us the excuse
of not thinking too hard
or does it help encapsulate
what moves/ what helps keep the cage's bars holding --
attack-- resistance of normative playback [first break] from initial solid view
[who breaks rank]
contrast to what/  sonorous rhythm should do --absence of resolution

tangled in the trespass place/ a line not knotted/ studied as sinister/ studied as wood rot/ penciled in blue, not one but two/ & eyed up along avenues/ as if explanation in its winged deference/ give me a dressing down/ a measured glance I could copy/ out a faceless gutter/ gutter's great & plentiful/ sloppy catalogues/ of how to track a tortoise's back

terrible in our moments of most unabashed human/ trotted out show pony amid founts/ of breathing abyss: the colonade where peeked summer's crept up by degrees & we lay spent among asters & day lillies, mouth crammed with dandelion stems

crammed aghast in beauty's last footfall the drip drop my little bird's chatter it's the morning's swerve as it creaks its way downhill each crunchy step; to falter bunches of rammed revolvers each caliber is its shot face explosions of petals that are falling about, its existing & its absolute a(versions) / rounded about as invisible exotics roasted & crannied nooks brumbled/ broached in the vernal absolute -- oh hosta of exacting -- so clovered in the maw's juice/ junction
quartered in the rules/ ruling class that lined up like stacks of cards/ crossed hairs/ crosswise

 NOTE: Yogasana 118 3rd Ave at Wycoff/ St. Mark's 6PM 5:30 (aside: where I do yoga with Nicole Peyrafitte and Pierre Joris while in Brooklyn)

wandering about the frenetic runs to be a flattened response- face first in fist fulls- awash in the grumbling the season's laterst equation- I think that last bit has a falling off remembrance- the way a city is a bitten back, chomped sway
alerted to the block's exact dimensions how to cut about the corners sliced sliced spirals for an easy tabling    trapped in the imaginary mask that you walk about in if the reality is less than satisfying- less tan even in the adding up so over hours & afternoons the last bits became unglued -- prodded as the latest embers flamed up in their little red open mouths- shouting obscene & then fllickering each winking eye

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My New Book: Commitment from Lavender Ink Press

I have a new collection coming out this month from Lavender Ink
Available for ordering now online: 

I'll be at AWP this year debuting this book:

Lavender Ink and Diálogos authors will be featured at two readings at AWP. This one celebrates new releases and is jointly sponsored by Chax Press and will also feature readings by their authors, including Charles Alexander himself. 

On Thursday, April 9 come see and hear:
Marc Vincenz and Tom Bradley reading from This Wasted Land.
Pablo Medina reading from his translation of Virgilio Piñera's The Weight of the Island
Mark Statman reading from That Train Again
Alexis Levitin reading his translation of Santiago Vizcaino's Destruction in the Afternoon, as well Santiago reading from the original
Megan Burns reading from Commitment
Chris Shipman reading from T. Rex Parade
With special appearances by Nancy Dixon (N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature), Vincent Celluci (Fuck Poems), Michael Tod Edgerton, and likely more....
Segue Cafe
609 South 10th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404

The second event is on Friday night, jointly sponsored by Gold Wake Press. See
Details here also:
Friday, April 10, 2015
7 - 9 PM
Lavender Ink/Gold Wake Press Reading with Laura Madeline Wiseman, Michael Tod Edgerton, Megan Burns, Chris Shipman, Sara Henning, Kyle McCord, Joshua Butts, Rebecca J.R. Lachman, Erin Elizabeth Smith, and Mary Buchinger Bodwell
The Crooked Pint
501 South Washington Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

Saturday, August 30, 2014

What are the private fantasies of young girls?

the doll itself
is a great empty
wanting to be played with

any man who transgresses
sexes her
what you begin
unbuckling expectation
as first assent
she never says no
& she is perfect

better to hold you
with my gaze
if your eyelids are removed

the harmonics of cutting
her open hole to hole

anyone can fill a doll
with what they hate
about themselves

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Velocity:: this life

be stark in the world in which
all that heart breaking brightness will

            -RBD, draft 96: Velocity

suicide is a nowhere land
the living wade
chest deep, arms below
the surface   numb & where are we?
down in a no-tell breath
grace awash hide back tongue murmur made save
not echo just tumbling this sad
this life     & here i go my love
barely cloaks me
tell me how to house grief
it won’t stay calm: faster than light
faster than the fall of night
I will come darkly
hold   this is a breach
I hold the line even when I forget how
a puppetry of living
this & this & this
shadow side here nothing holds
what a lie, what a beautiful casket of doubt

I go to language to field the darkness

come for me fast, what happens
alone, what happens in our heads
how I tremble at the door you left open
empty lot under night
there is that there & alone
once I was a type of double, siblinged
now this always  try to follow
empty house city of cruel forget
city of rebuilt permanent rot
you can do everything right, they say
but of course we don’t, we rarely break even
these are all just stories of how our lives went