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 18, 2021


For those that think they are monstrous, i speak for you
Uncanny we wade, so water a trembling sign for will you
                 uncaring in outcomes but i did want to be shattered 

You can’t have everything and they mean it when you find 
Having traveled far to seek some answers you end up inside the box 
                  Tell me what your wish is, little girl 

We have to suspend belief that beauty can love such horror show
But, birdy, we fly don’t we, when loved, when you get to be one
                  of the lucky ones 

You have to remember we come from this island of misfit 
It’s not like you can just locate New Orleans on a map 
                   inside you there is this breaking that never ends

I thought you could see me in all of this mess, inside this chaos
I fell a victim to this dream, that you spoke the words i choose 
                   Too and listen, little echo, little warbling chest space 

All my life has been less than, and less than that to hold on to
Try to bargain even now, let it be this last time to get it right somehow 
                   that merry go round moving so fast and you think what 

Is real in a movie about our future selves, plastic trinkets pawned to history 
We of the B sides, the news bytes, the recycling data of gossip 
                   Tell me what am i surviving since love is off the table 

Whatever darkness darkens, and i am there. Wherever fate is forgotten, waves
Lap from memory and it is a thing they do, like us continuing, as if we should
                    Time takes us anyway so what matter you chose never to try 

Is it true, if no one wants to hold on to you
You fly away, in one’s city, broken apart, is it true really
                     That you never really cared at all if i was here with you 


Friday, January 15, 2021

Carnal Evaluation


I am about to make the other speak.


Nor did the war ever end, i could not stop the flow 

Bled out, i colored the right bright love of the red winged blackbird 

Best believe in the magic of— pier roped our separate water crafts

In calm waters and spent, smeared lipstick stains cloud shape 

On the interior of the mouth coverings, falling in space

Like love, garners a series of questions 

Participation in the others’ hallucination of you 

Line the poem with broken facts

Each heart a haunted place, be not what leaps if leaps 

Confused, fashioned as monsters of old 

Every tree trimmed with faces, a sadness 

Always remember the brokenness i tucked under 

This necessary keep: What is your allegiance to

To be an American poet, the response of the nation 

If you know what you are is better than what you want 

Space is negotiated by resources, the way the lines of the poem 

Take the place of where we would have been real to one another 

I think sometimes if you would just call my name out loud 

Like that story, the whole world could begin again 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Yet the Frame Held

When the pitch falls, who sings for you 

To have a new feeling in the hopelessness of now

& no outside of nature, memory is how we keep time 

Flowing, the constant and i would wait for you 

Power is the dream of consciousness mattering 

You take your bones out and form them into a cave

A wander in the shadow of play till we make slaughter

A normal every day entertainment and when the experiment 

Goes black, what is the echo of could you pull me back, cornered

i see the walls of structure, ghosted remnants where we curled our signs

i existed once upon a story in the well of caught light, in the mornings

Of sorrow where you are not, in the burst dam of i broke through 

The smallness of my own wanting, and i came here to be with you

Again and again, till the quiet overtakes us. If we write what is already 

Understood, we stay rooted to this terror, i would ask impossibility

and call it love. i am asking you to architect your escape from progress 

for we shall sing of things not yet come and of things of the past

we shall let the water of language wash it away. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Raw Towns


For Bill Lavender

In the heart of deep hearts, no voodoo dolls

The shape of days, the hours we met and disappear, time

So fast it takes your breath away, how you can build a city 

But still be a stranger in it, the way a story of a man floating in flood

Waters in a plastic pool will image carve into the crenellations 

We call recollected history, in one lifetime you will have conversations

Barely recalled and words that turn swiftly the whole course & we 

Gather here, patchwork defense mirroring, look i have unthreaded 

The straight and narrow paths of arrival and departure: I would bet

Infinity in symbolic play, the truth of how any art meets and stabilizes 

The future namings, you were the only person who dared say it

That maybe it was worth it to abandon the safe measures of prescriptions 

That kept me numbed to wanting to die, imagined the length of travel 

Insanity must venture & if love is not our place than why do we come here

If love is not how we see one another, why are we paying attention 

I shed every safety net designed to cage in a whisper of what 

Could your mind be missing, to be set apart from self possession 

Campbell says, is the point of participation in a festival, the ritual 

Of disassociation masks so fine, and even in the knowing that 

We wear it, we revel in the apparition of this mythic state 

This state of how we crumble from fearsome field to invulnerable 

Abandoned structures, the shape of belief trembled along the loose 

Sounds unspoken for in any quantum reality, once there is

there is no undoing, the error of our lives was never 

Sleep’s frail hold or survival in the margins, it was 

Never seeing clearly how deeply the coding we designed seeped

The barycenter pulls the eye to a centered light but the burning 

Of that bright, unequivocal eye is as gentle as the sound of breathing 

Not to go gently, but that we do not go is the line’s off course entry 

Friday, January 08, 2021

Stand Closer


i bet this place is a bone silent whistling 

under stars, the vowels of time, a constant 

we made it this far but not very far from where we started

from up there, the horizon is a tone less 

like i sd, we’re going the wrong way driving away from it

every poem is a trying to steal, i let you wheel 

turned up, i ask what i can of you

if i show you this childhood, what does it seem 

neighborhood drowned but my memory sharps against 

i was hungry so long in this life 

held inside, does love become a burden 

blunt mouthed to stop speech, the corners of this living

fold down, i do and do not see you clearly 

when you say i know more people who’ve died 

who wins that standing, there were more photographs 

than hours and more ways to never say what we mean 

if we could just stay driving and never arrive, if we could 

umbrella softest bits, struck match tip, it was this need inside 

me to choose burning over ever just making it home 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Kiosks of No Returns


Kiosk of No Returns


surive just about everything & you’ll end up at the mall

near the end of the movie,


when my grandmother died, i spoke at her funeral about how she was a painter and she said, you don’t paint the tree, you paint the space around the tree. she never said that. i am the poet & in grief, we near everything called living, we round it, do not go to places dangerous when there is a safe space to wander


you sent me this photograph while i was taking a bath

i lay there every night in this pandemic




terrified of what comes next & who is gonna die. & am i

my children, my parents,  you

how can you ask me to love in this place & we don’t


we go to spaces of abandon 

to still the terror: Look, here’s a picture of a dying mall in



                              h  o m e    ofthe     f  r  e e         

            i want to tell someone of this fear  but who has 


any more room to hold it      whose lap can you sit on 

say, what i want 

what i want

what i want 


is to be sure again, of why we built any of this. why we needed any of this. remind me why we crawled up out of the swamps for this excess of speed and glutton and was it to perfect suffering. have we reached that shore yet. have we designed it so perfectly we can’t ever go back or forward, but stay here taped off, an arrow marker to the place where you belong, and we’ve got the best prices in town. 


you’ve got to fill the frame with our obelisks and titans to consumerism. ephemera of pleasures that filled us once. now we are empty display cases. now we are hand sanitizer to remind us how we broke off, our fossil beauty in beige and tan tiles for miles of smiles…. how did we know desire. what was left to discover here. we pushed beyond temporary till disposal was the birth of this nation, i sing of thee.

Photograph by Todd White