juliet linderman is 17 years old and lives in san francisco.
this is her first published work.
Like a manzanita bush
He is often mistaken for a manifestation of the devil.
Veins twisting blue beneath translucent skin
Reaching for the streaming of yellow sunbeams slicing
through frosty morning air.
And he wakes up to dusty mood and rusty shades and
flails his limbs
Shaking his branches and raking away
Rising tall and obscure in the afternoon
manzanita is red like revolution on legs with knotty
Swollen from climbing hi-cliffs green that seldom
yields spiced cider
And sweet tangerine fruits never grew from those
Barren fingers dropped no blossoms in spring or summer
Sprang up just the same
Though cracked at the corners and calloused from
plumes of sea glass
Sharded in the soil sand.
Fat Black Flies
Its often frail like bones, and our lungs will fail to
breathe underneath the freezing smoke of this lord's
holy regime choking rope burning hope making curdles
So lick those icy lips and tell me who I claim to be
Rising up in filthy frames of flames go down in
You'll see, doubt me now causing ballots to bleed and
bury legends till the end in brass and twisted apathy.
Black bubbles float to air dirty burning atmosphere
like those holes in the snow where black gold flows
slipping deep into my skin sticking your tongue into
breathing steady don't forget what you want for me to
rhyming like the time is running down my naked thighs
so show me what you look like in the heat of naked
and will you choose to listen to the gutter's naked
cries, or will you shut the light and shut the door
and devour fat black flies?
I saw the ghost of old John Ryan today,
sitting on the corner and weeping through a
Remember me? He asked.
Like a wicker basket was old John Ryan
on the cracked corner wrapped in wind,
ricketing paper airplane eye-lids
shut so tight and blue.
And I caught a glimpse of Old John Ryan asleep on a
under the green midnight moon-
dreaming aloud with one hand stretched
to the sky and the other wrapped in mine.
And I turned my head the other day and spotted that
old John Ryan again-
flooded with steep light on filthy brick sidestreets
bright and bold.
Are you following me? I asked old John Ryan.
He shot me a toothless grin and softly replied I know
you can feel my warm breath on your hair
on nights such as this-
and vanished right there into a small teardrop
splattered in the shadow at my tired feet and