Solid Quarter

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

Visit New Orleans Poetry Fest for the annual 4 day poetry festival directed by Bill Lavender and Megan Burns.

Megan Burns' Poeticsofbone&city project on Tumblr

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


a coin placed on the headstone
           mark a bargaining     for life

          she is "great flood" Mehet-Weret

always cross roaded       never still, this circle

i was wedded to the root, she says, great tap root, and i think i will make it a poem, no not a poem, i will make it a book, no not a book, i will make it a mapping, an escape route, do you recall we were always this side of the river, i was silt legged, a pelican not of color but rooted to region, i mean we rot here, she said name a hue to protect you, and it washes down, the eyes cast of i could never be a clever girl, can you... i have always been surrounded by women, or angels, i mean, have you ever left your body. you know when you can't feel. it only occurred to me after four decades that i have never really felt anything at all.

     i swayed barge giver
                    crossing water is a junction
                                   no one stays on the boat, girl

you have to choose a shore sooner or later
             step out and it's an  either/ either
                                    we're never leaving this cave
   & it's because the fire is nowhere near burning out

her name is domain of horrors. did you translate that right. i have been in these hospitals most of my lives. do you mean life. but there were some i forgot. tell me what year it is. it's two different years across continents. right now, you could take my hand and we would be in the futuring. i am dreaming we made it. i am dreaming i slipped out the window. did you jump. she died a few times. but one of us survived. i put hysteria in my pocket. i had to steal it.

  be careful touching a beast burning.

          i held inside me the grief i slipped from each of you.

          i rolled inside me like pearls the damage, all of the suffer you
kissed me. you fucked me. you put inside me. you laid your hand
in my hand and i breathed in.        did you think i was just your friend, another human?

                  i am devouring. as she has always been,    i have yet to meet the face

 that calms this trampling.        this is the year i said good bye to masking.

    the sistrum leaks. take a travel, i am gone blood thirsting to silk roads of soft landing.

             there is a type of petal that will not burn.

                 tell me you mean the naming.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Anesthesia: A Suite Not Dream

"In his mind abandoning photography meant submitting to loss" 
-House of Leaves

"We have surpassed all of our templates..." 
-Laura Mattingly, 12.25.19

Anesthesia: A Suite Not Dream


let me wing over you 
a pass-
ing,       passage "of time"    "with
                  out sensation"  steer   bliss
under you, i am reach

i am   _____ible 
          swallowing my tongue               its tail 

rip her up out/ rip inside          
down my throat              
        between my legs    instrument of extraction 

 i caress each intrusion into the body  

         was not love that pulled me apart 

             there is no drug 
                    there is no drug
                           there is no drug 
    that will ever sleep me through that raping 

i would have found it by now

      i would have folded wings down

i would fly  

                       but i

stayed strapped down          you   are     going 

                    to have to hold her d____


drown      i sing into the twilight 
what is a controlled loss / does it temper
   does it twinkle.... look at the lights in this hotel 

i was dreaming we walked there.

           i sing           down into a time line 

 not my own. i come to

i woke up here. in this place. where all is similar
and i 
i am the different             stone angel 
                                        prayer like water   
prayer like my name erased. 


xmas day: i told her ask the cards what i need to do when they put me under again, 4 hours in the tabling. as close to death, i would shimmer. and what is it you want. to hurt god.    G-D.   to refuse that love. b/c if that's not good enough. girl, if no one is g--d enough          is it you or them  quitting early, is it you or them bringing you back up.... 

                          it's never all going to be fixed


  if i can just solve this piece
      if i can.
         if i am worth it. 
                        i can make it cohere. i can make all of the words

            under my tongue, the skin sheared where they would silence

           bowls echo           i struck        i was struck 


        unpin scapula.    let me never be afraid of losing you

    my palms were filled with shame.     still.        after all this confession

      after all this doubt doused.                shame pouring between fingers

       an offering:    look at me.          under the lights.       universe perfect. 

        i built hard as cement. i held inside me hard as rock. stone to stone. 

the world touched me and i turned it out.  impenetrable.   

tell me the truth, dream,  
                 you've never met a girl as hard to see as this one. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019


many is the blood and now is the place
imperfect circles we cannot deny

how stillness ellipses
counter weight to death

count me in that number
not sainted, but torn free in my failings

you hold deep in the body all unsaid
secret griefs roll inside me, a rocking

to sleep for the lullaby babes, shush
he says, i'm doing the best i can

& it's never enough, this recitation
prayer me to song or whisper by name

this temporary not remembering
turning to stone, i turn

aperiodic crystal and the rate at which sound
moves, precious heart, genetic inheritance

what could not touch me, led me
apart, a breaking open of portals

"What is life?" they ask
i non exist, where the wings

meet, seven scales that octave
the universe: i came to shift

on the field in one generation
terror to bliss, the rain of suffer

held off course: i heard her speak
inside my head: Love hard

no matter the choosing
the trick to unlock a word

like spirals caught in the tubing
i pass like the light of a star still

wishing, i pass under covers
the night of your hand still moving

in a question of time, i rip off course
i am dreaming of being the answer

Monday, December 09, 2019


he only loves those things 
because he loves to see them break

-"Doll Parts"

god, sometimes

                    i think i'm done

feeling broken

                     like i told her, i'm healed now
 and so i was, now what's that damage you hand me
          put your mouth up to my ear and listen
 how my body crumbles

               do you know a recipe for best girl,  i was lapped
        to your grace, sit lil doggy in the wet spot               you

at the end of the line, been caught

  i been....nah, you know how inside me          ruptured light
       put me down                 if it's too much

             learn to run from what burns
                                                          & what else named is

 a seraphed thing          from cinder-storied-dreams of ever lovely rippled

      a ripping,     a tear in the hand worth a fist in the...

                  sweet honey drip, i wanna give you some ..... good, good 

       most days i'm writing to survive, but tell a truth

    some days
              i'm writing to seduce
                                                like language is: Build a bridge

between us in the room                     body across an ocean of past trespass
                       & what we catch on film
                                                              & what we forget to say out loud

                       what is there to lose          loosened minutes unfurl
         time was wet      
                                we kept wiping it off the backs of our hands

     sometimes, god....

                                 i can barely piece it together