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rachel a. smith

Rachel A. Smith was born and raised in Greater Cleveland and studied Creative Writing and Russian at Miami University of Ohio, where she stayed on to earn her Master's degree in Creative Writing: Poetry. Rachel's poetry has appeared in several small magazines based out of Oxford, OH and Cambridge, MA, including Megaphone Piggy Vol. 1 and 2, Plantarchy Vol. 3 and 4, and Invisibly Tight Institutional Outer Flanks Dub [verb] Glorious National Hi-Violence Response Dream published in April 2008 out of Brown University. She has presented her works at various readings and conferences, such as The Ohio State University Mid-Western Slavic Conference in Columbus, OH March 2005, Post_Moot Poetry Festival in Oxford, OH April 2006, and was featured in a film by Keith Tuma and Justin Katko entitled Five Oxford Poets presented at The Contemporary Experimental Women's Festival at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England Oct. 2006. Rachel's work can be read on her "works-in-progress" blog Magus Flower, a space she uses to present drafts for open comment: http://magusflower.blogspot.com/.


this is matt lauer-certified information

i sneezed ‘ahm-mi-gabu-gabu-raid’ all over
and in between
the balfour declaration
over the ‘f-u-r’ ending
on the hilarity
of 1448 metadays of benocide taken
for worm infestations,
which hallow out yer gut
and, after swabbing with io,
zeus dined on the coral hee-haw
of being able to do it,
then stuffed the intestines
with 20 pounds and bag him a father
this time around
because mothers wear their births
on their faces
and exponentially
the numbers grow


this is how you die:

she is wine.
she is sapphire
on indigo beaches
on a white rise
opaque from sands, threads,
eclipsing blue and green.

when the baited cloves drop in
her sleeve will be bleeding,
and and she will be perforated.

in this world where one can drink her
there is a holocaust of mind:
without speaking, she knows which traumas will die;
she has seen them lined up,
in their waiting.
their mouths are hallow,
and drinking makes them whole.
they soothe, “this is how you die:
cooking fish on the floor,
tossing bones in garbage heaps
that rot like a crown of willow leaves
on a vietnamese girl, washing her hands in hot water
with a bar of pig fat.”


h5n1 shifts

antigen shifts h5n1 send us back
to a quart of wheat
for a day's wages.

i bought a big mac
sealed it up
and shipped it to africa,
but wilfred brimley intercepted
and promptly met my dead grandfather
for a moment's reflection
on 1980's medical equipment.

i suggest peeling julia robert's gums off
and using them to dam
the french quarter.
i hear she has a killer smile.

or maybe using reagan ketchup-logic
to prove there was no problem
to begin with.


oral milk

oral milk
moral ills
texas leathered
kurd can stand
thorax turkmenistan
oven scarred uzbeks
proletariat fazed tajikistan
daily internalize:
      “dry your hands on minority paper towels”
infect me by
horsefly at the ukie lake
nationalists and their thumbs
socialist sympathizers
       asia exploit
            azuh patriarch echsployt
  azhuh paytreeark eksploiyt
aisah paitriarc ekzployt

       eehza peytryarch oak tree
                          easia petreark yolk fee
                   eazah yoke me
                         eazuh choke


hand and hot

when the vinegar is poured, hand and hot,
the buttermilk curdles
and separates the cream.
it is the cheesecloth that catches and maintains,
the cheesecloth that suppresses.

she and she who opened her eyes, ruddy and blue,
and saw that it is light.

i am made witness and bearer of creation.
the hot vinegar curdles in her womb
and births to spoils
to the hand of the cloth.

open-palmed this cup collects the oil of her tears
and is nuanced by a name
of a woman.


there are some things i'd like you to know:

mainly, that the khawadja is always assumed to be a doctor,
so people rush to them with children with bullets in their lungs,
but khawadja is almost always a photographer.

and that in the mornings,
families have to choose rape of their women, or castration and murder of their men.
so they send their wives out of the idp's to collect firewood and water,
knowing the janjaweed are waiting.

and that if you go south toward bath on 21 in ohio,
you can buy cherry juice and turnip mustard on the side of the road.
the man who sells it is a farmer, and i saw him there yesterday.


i know how you sleep

i know how you sleep.

you sleep on your side, nested with a body
pillow against your chest and between your knees.

you will not sleep like this in iraq.

logistically, this is probably because your bunk will be twin,
and there isn't the room you've become accustomed to
in your queen bed.

your air force-issued pillow will probably be one,
and you'll want that for your head,
not your knees.

i wonder if you'll sleep with your mouth open like you do now.
it's dry there.
it will dry out.

tell me what you eat, and i'll tell you what you are

woman-cow skin tacked taunt toldstoy told sayed told natives that thick is cunning and can’t be fact or fat this is possible this is meringue this limited to twenty-one licks and kicks and oh keep your blue bells keep your sprite cans and corpses crowning and kicking up dirt half calendar dates on time for white lilies or yellow madagascar expressions tentacles with suction cups that suction paper cups does this look brown does this look like the absence of all color blue powders soaps and clean paper post cards from where else blueberry country slang for knocking liquid papers dried up flowers and black scissors that cut construction paper that cut and cut and rip at fabrics with no patterns patterned on pol pot's canoe fill this coffee cup with tea and half a finger of honey mood blues mood electric diamond punch bowls water drops kicking sea turtles kick up sand and blue and green japanese cotton blossoms this is possible this is meringue this is not a chair luther take out marble table cloths twist ties cut ant cut used queue tips edgardo bonilla and tick cold creams bite conscious for mark ups and cut ups and kiln fires of course high kicks kicking this is possible this is not a snow shovel and this is not the color yellow cigarette butts it can in bank parking lots your sleep number and lo and behold that pirate ship has no sailed but fishnet stockings under blue blazers and twenty-one licks in mammoth grade mem her ease haven't got a coroner and tighter teeth and this is either possible or not and bullets doused in steak sauce taste hot and dead like meat and skin:

tell me what you eat,
and i'll tell you what you are.
i eat flipper muscle, torn and ripped from delicate
appendages of cowboys.
muscle that floats on curried water
next to flakes of shell.

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