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

Monday, January 20, 2020


Because I want you to see me as I take myself apart. 
-R. Froude, Your Love Alone is Not Enough


for dave

here is the root of it

[_____pulled up
it took me over 5 years
to be able to shape the sound 
of it _____]

i gave you the best parts of me
we gave the world the best parts of us
we made together the best parts of us
we gave to one another the best parts

pulled 3x from my body
i gave you the best parts of me
portal of my body, between us we made sacred
outside any poem we wrote, we made beauty 

beyond telling, the heart of it
nothing existed before we poured 
into one another all we took for granted
& all of the light & what we thought of 

was love               was love

& you hated me
words collected like knives
we destroyed all of it 

you wanted me to die
that body that pooled life 
you wanted it to not exist
to douse, to eradicate, to allow 
to slip away, you hated each part 

as if it is possible 
to be both the best...
it is possible 
to be the best & the worst
collision of my life 
closed circle: i gave you the best parts of me 

that is what islands us (me) 
where no one can reach
& i could not open to feel ever 
again in the not safe 
cave of plenty, you rolled a rock in front
of the entrance 
the wilderness 
of things 

she sings inside the darkness
    i hear her even now 

                                   i whisper to her: escape, rescue, abandon

she mirrors back to me:   
                                    all of your wor(l)ds hold no meaning 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Frozen States

Frozen States

how'd you get so desperate/ how'd you stay alive -C. Love 

woke up with a fist in my throat
scrape rage but thinned time, it fast
lingers, i lost the grip, my tongue
a grotto
     of bartering, you want this life, you want this life
 ask anyone passing by, what a joke, what an eternal mourning
          take pills to feel the only love that touches

     [redacted]  came up                        [what i am owed]

     & don't think we haven't recorded
 how am i still here                how am i still here
          was the refrain from under:: it was stardust they pulled
     out my mouth,   i was frost bit, no one wants to photograph
          a girl who can't [pose]         she's not doll      [en__gh]

    you'll never be able to hold that g a z e 

        every one knows if you can't be beautiful & you can't
          [ be horrific ]       horror show this waste
 of living            it wears your face

      4 seconds:: i was touch-down, deep stasis::
      & when i came back             [redacted]

some parts never will, i couldn't get warm,
they piled the blankets around me, a smothering
& i sd: the dead take up space inside
   [no one listens to hysterics]    don't say it's up to me 

            i was hyperthermic      dead zone  where i traveled

            b/c i knew i could          i can do anything         [out there]  

           it's nothing. i keep saying angel, what i mean is terror. no 

           one is listening to me. i keep saying words & they say she's a poem

          what a beauty. what a trilling. death hung on my hands and feet

          i was so numb. there is nothing out there. & it is cold. the light of light
          darkens. bone shivered      there is no way for sound to carry. so quick

the silence is us. so quick.

  the truth is this:

     no one will ever reach for you

      not like a dreaming, a place you cannot shore
      when you island loss
         creep from death parent to lesser cues
every poem was a mirror i held up
                & i wait               i'm afraid it won't lead me anywhere
                 we call her       [             ]   kneel into the frozen lights 

                 useless as a song, useless as a memory, useless as __________
                 how could i still be here.... when every code i wrote was the same

i am lost & the maps, torn to shreds. the way
home insides me, i would go there now
but the children sweetly gather, the dog snores
the sun rises in the city i have only ever known
look at me, i have failed at everything.

     i have failed at everything.

     i ever wanted in this life           no matter for the cold here is nothing

     the cold out there.           endless. is what waits.





Saturday, January 11, 2020

P O R T A L : A Spell for Exits


took me decades to arrange sounds

turn my self inside out cut cloth, a scissoring

of time wound down or wooed, to my heart

the grip of it, i swept rational under covers

let me squeeze through window, a gap

wide enough to skin shredding, who could desire

a hungry ghost line:: she shapes a coming, spells

lined the flames i put my finger to the burnt edge

of night & was never afraid of leaving this screen

tell me you feel nothing; you have no concept

i’ve rearranged translations of touch & barter

do you know for sure the dead aren’t living in us

i’m aiming low to hit a broad target, it looks like madness

i’ve unhitched the spiral inside me that codes, i’ve listened too

long to the echo of breaking, none of this matters

as if multiverses bubbled, we replicate infinity

slept inside one another, i was trying to wake, but you

you insisted we stay under suffering, sister, he said join me

& i was ready, i was ready, i was ready & then she said in the dark

unspooling: you can’t sing without a body

i crashed into the mazing constructed to border

monstrosity, my desire to cut to pieces, i can’t control

the rage of centuries marking my sense of time

what does your attachment feel like to another

you will never know who hides where they see

invincible and unbroken, the code of me was jump

through this door i built brick by brick:  when i am gone

repeat after me: love is the word we use here

it means: we remember how we are locked into all

i came to sing our design further into the labyrinth

& if you have walked with me, we are already traveling

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Latent Inhibition

I so can sing, in seasons fair, 
That who hath felt may feel again

-C. Patmore, The Angel in the House 

i took out 5 memories
let me guess

you are the gear turning
teeth crunched to bite

i was where the cycle of trauma
ended, inside my body

pay it forward/ paid back
flip track in a single tone
root a way deeper through rot

we exist before & after other people
catalogue of damage, inventory this sepsis

what is enough touch

walk to the river & tell of failing
walk to the corner & turn past the vision
walk to the edge, edging my life
a terminal diagnosis

i stood in the gallery where the dollbabies
alchemied a list of my hysterias
& she sd. do you want to see where they cut off my breast

is there enough to solid my quiver
to cement soaring past liminal

there is the permanent echo of love
& there is the temporary ripple of meet

we all choose what we need
based on survival, the scar of plenty

i'm betting that time made
us what we need to take this

the past reaching forward into the future
whispering, you were just a human being

decoherence, come out of the shoot
entangled:  skepticism
a form of fear,  i need you
to believe in everything

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Suicidal Ideation Scale

once upon a time...    prior to language
i flew the skies, shed skins, i was walk of two worlds 
label bottle bone: "sick"          i swallow it under my tongue 
lifetime shatter: the myth of you will not want to die one day...
one day, you will not want to die 
            //it might be a collection of hours but grasp//
let us ask you about harm: here a scale of reduction &
the trespass of truth is i will turn you over to policing
tick... tock... you be glued into time better, girl 
- Mental illness (suicide reflects mental illness);

- Cry for help (suicide threats are not real, they represent a cry for help);

-Right to die (people have the right to take their own lives);

-Religion (lack of religion has a role in suicide);

-Impulsivity (deliberate self-harm and suicide are impulsive acts) ;

-Normality (everyone is potentially capable of suicide);

-Aggression (suicide is an aggressive act), and Moral evil (suicide is a morally bad action)

what will it say of poetry
a failure to give.... but consider it led me further out 
than i ever anticipated. 
in the first year after my brother suicided, i thought 
this wave, this calm, my heart, this blown through i have touched
with my blood, what a feeding, what a strapped down to knowing
cart me  i surrender. 
        but they find you anyway.       oh that song, inside your cells

  couldn't hide that shine.      that kind of burning calls        
    the ferocity of what cores            no one can see 
The CCCS-18 consists of items that measure respondents’ beliefs about legitimacy of suicide (as a rationally acceptable act), acceptability of suicide in terminal patients, morality of suicide from a social perspective and suicide itself as a solution to exit from a given situation

(everyone is potentially capable of suicide (can you hold it like a love( 
(a solution to exit from a given situation    (can you hold it( 
(suicide are impulsive acts (love itself(coming here itself(every time i jumped 

This scale consists of hypothetical scenarios in which the scheme’s main character experiences a problem and attempts suicide. The scale wants respondents to determine the extent to which they have sympathy or empathy with the character and agree with his/her decision in attempting suicide.

do you agree with my decision to attempt suicide(what is acceptance 
do you agree with my decision to ideate suicide (what is surrender
do you agree to put down your fear (there is nothing to be afraid of 
          death is ending a story
& all story tellers
hold the light 

This questionnaire asks about attitude and opinions toward self-destructive behavior, including thoughts about circumstances under which someone might attempt or commit suicide. 

a poem is anatomy, to say i anatomize the self
have taxidermied the constructs you apply to situations
and i am asking you to undo all attachment.                   
                               that is all.    i am asking, 

     can you give up the idea of life   
 what is the act of continuation
but a type of destruction of allowing an end
to occur spontaneously

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The Gate of Vitality

Every stream on earth has a source, and every plant has a root.
         -Li Zhongzi, A Primer of Medical Objectives

if you walk far enough along a path
you'll come to your soul mirrored back  
       a reflection of time moving

        explosion of sky's rapture     we catalogued  
    all directions, i have callings by name and callings by sound
       so we warble, look a mourning is a type of flower, a petalling folded down

      sweet submersion this stone reached, grappled root first back into skin
 then your face, then your pupil, i control the light, she whispered,
                                               bridge after the second chorus
 and cull up swirl we tack on truth, the outline of any body darkens
    becomes hard to edge its nightness, could you sit double exposed
         a wide arc: look, a whole tree pictured in the water's pooling
              the way our arms cross back and forth blocking the stars
     shouldered the dead crossing and they were light as secrets
           i could have loosened my grip
                                                            all of now
                       was a lesson in how receiving love is a let down

                                                [of control]
     & has little to do with what we give
                    or what we give is no reciprocity of what we let in

             walk over that falling down, round counter portal the sky on fire
   & you,
                      a fast fish called desire ::    it is hard to touch a memory

close eyes to dream as pages on the calendar turned down mark i have...
   i am still        going to ruin    our mother sights the obvious matter of being ::
     (em)bodied   & thebliss     is what they hold us to     (let me assure...)
                              you can't have this experience. and not have this experience.

 you have to step through the gate. there is a threshing. of waiting, and resistance.
there is a shushing. of our own suffering, i would you lay down, call me by name
 sprout of life / i have always recorded

 am recording.         i met myself on a bridge.
                                i met you on a bridge.
                                i was alone on the bridge.
                                i was inside the universe on the bridge.
                                i know how long we stood
                                            we have always been here. singing.

blood has an urge to mate :: wings held back ::
                            i collected truth in the branching ::

 what creates the body can kill the body :: for decades, that is what i knew of love
          doubled like a taking flight from the midsection.
          two ears nestled inside me, listen.
the igniting spark between the kidneys :: source of the
 triple burner ::   would you slow me
                      toscrape/clean/ emptied of hardness

sound held so long no silence can keep.  here's
the thread whistled to the center,
it's always been just a walking with one another,
occasionally, a fire flares and by that warmth
we recall this caving/  we caught both light and shadow.
          it's where we told them into being
                           starting, once upon a time....