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Simone Muench




Trouble came and trouble

brought greasy, ungenerous things:

poke root and bladderwrack,

chalklines in bloody bedrooms

and black reptilian bags

smelling of acetylene.


Trouble came and trouble sang

shush-shush or tell-tell

for I alone will break your bones

as it bedded down for winter

in a small small town,

smelling of cabbage and tripe

where eight black chickens

wandered the street.


With trouble came clouds

agitating the cows, their thick

ruminant bodies clogging up

the riverbeds.  Trouble came

and sang and fish turned belly-up,

house pets appeared in the well.

Children started dying

of oddities that the small-town

doctor could not name.


Trouble-houses and trouble-towns.

Trouble came in one hundred waves,

in sparks and hexes, with horse-breath

and spiny borders.  Babies born

with clubfoots and cleft lips, babies

born with partial hearts and partial heads

and some just born plain dead.


Trouble is and trouble was

and trouble came and sang

shush-shush or tell-tell

in a small, small town.


          -First published in Caffeine Destiny


Desire Takes a Road Trip to New Orleans


Desire changes her name to Desirée

so people will stop asking if she’s an abstraction

or a reality.  She buys a blue Nova, spins towards New Orleans

via Texarkana where she saunters into Ricky Dell’s Roadhouse

for a Gibson chilled with onions that she pops

into her mouth before leaning over the bar

to lick the bartender.  Eight days later,

he still shakes with the wisteria scent of her hair

and the sweet acid of onions hovering over his upper lip

where his mustache singed away. 


All the matches in the bar are black by the time

Desirée shifts into second with the ease of a boy

switching his affections from his mother

to his first girlfriend that he finger-fucked in his Dad’s

silver Impala beneath a moon hung in the sky

like a wind chime.  The stars sounding out a song

that only those with an ocean beneath their ribs can hear. 


At Trenton Episcopal, Desirée decides to use the bathroom. 

The choir boys are singing Hallelujah

when she jaunts in like a lucky horseshoe.  Suddenly,

their platelets ring her name while God’s golden mallet

hammers away at their malleable, sin-soaked hearts.


When Desirée arrives on the esplanades, all the boys

on the bayou gather to sing, with crooked hearts

and crooked feet we flee, down a crooked road

as we pray, Oh Desirée.  She slits her skirt

up her creole thigh, strides likes she’s late for a date

with Dante Alighieri.  She’s got nowhere to go

but she likes the leg’s elongation, the stretch

and flex of muscle, the way the calf

bunches up like a ball that she could spiderweb

the windows of those indifferent to her siren serenade.

And she knows if she practices her fastball

she’ll shatter the glass ceiling of heaven and shards

will scatter the earth in a simulacrum of lust

as the flushed lips of sordid saints say,

Oh Desirée, Desirée, only to you we pray.


                -First published in Crab Orchard Review

Listen to/read my review of "Orange Crush" here



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Alice Anderson 11-16-08


Renee Ashley 04-10-2010


Christianne Balk 07-27-07


Brian Barker 07-07-07


Polina Barskova 09-13-2010


Bruce Beasley 11-22-08


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Nicky Beer 08-22-08


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Ciaran Berry 01-25-09


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Bruce Bond 02-18-2012


John Bradley 03-12-2012


Brian Brodeur 03-29-09


Michelle Boisseau 09-20-2010 


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Anne Caston 09-24-09


Anne Caston 02-27-2011


Elizabeth Biller Chapman 01-25-08


Nicole Cooley 04-05-09


Stephen Cramer 02-14-2011


Nicole Cuddeback 03-07-08


Steve Davenport 03-29-2010


Cortney Davis 05-03-09


Todd Davis 11-01-2010


James Dickey 03-12-2012


Stephen Dobyns 02-26-2012


Elizabeth Dodd 09-05-08


Karen Donovan 04-15-07


Mark Doty 04-11-08


Stephen Dunn 11-09-02010


Lynn Emanuel 08-30-2010


Lynnell Edwards 11-22-2010


B. H. Fairchild  09-04-09


Elyse Fenton 04-25-2011


Nick Flynn 01-28-2012


Nick Flynn 10-04-2010


Rachel Contreni Flynn 04-10-2011


Carolyn Forche 09-21-07


Carrie Fountain 03-21-2011


James Galvin 02-23-07


Margaret Gibson 01-24-10


Mary Jo Firth Gillett 02-22-08


Dana Gioia 08-23-2010


Eugene Gloria 09-20-08


Louise Gluck 03-17-2010


Kevin Goodan 08-29-08


Matthew Graham 11-28-2010


Robert Grunst 11-16-07


Bruce Guernsey 9-13-2011


Elizabeth Hadaway 06-15-07


John Haines 11-01-2011


Donald Hall 02-10-07


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Barbara Jordan 02-02-09


Ilya Kaminsky 11-18-2011


Daniel Khalastchi 8-30-2011


Brigit Pegeen Kelly 10-12-08


Jane Kenyon 04-01-07


Suji Kwock Kim 11-09-2011

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James Kimbrell 01-19-07


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Phil Levine 06-03-07


Eleanor Lerman 11-02-08


Larry Levis 04-04-08


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Sandy Longhorn 04-26-08


Corey Marks 10-03-07


Adrian Matejka 04-18-08


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Jeffrey McDaniel 10-08-2011


Michael McGriff 02-22-09


Jay Meek 01-16-2010


Anne Michaels 01-18-09


Nils Michals 02-29-08


Keith Montesano 12-12-2010


Malena Morling 05-12-08


Simone Muench 02-08-08


Sharon Olds 02-22-07


Sharon Olds 10-19-07


Michael Ondaatje 02-01-2010


Eric Pankey 09-07-07


Gregory Pardlo 06-22-07


Ed Pavlic 09-28-07


Oliver de la Paz 02-15-2010


Lucia Perillo 12-04-09


Catherine Pierce 04-18-2011


Jon Pineda 04-09-2012


Donald Platt 02-15-08


Joshua Poteat 03-13-2011


Joshua Poteat 11-3-09


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Dean Rader 03-07-2011


Amy Randolph 03-01-09


Robert Randolph 12-12-09


Adrienne Rich 04-20-2010


Joshua Robbins 11-16-2010


David Roderick 12-07-07


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Katherine Soniat 11-30-07


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Mark Sullivan 08-28-09


Mathias Svalina 04-02-2012

Frank Stanford 10-25-2010

Mark Strand 02-22-2010


Mark Svenvold 03-23-09


Robert Thomas 05-03-2011


Brian Turner 05-13-07


Joshua Vinzant 01-30-2011


Tribute to Virginia Tech 04-24-07


Connie Voisine 10-1-2011


Charles Harper Webb 10-12-07


David Wevill 03-27-2011


C.K. Williams 05-25-07


Susan B.A. Somers-Willett 06-29-07


Charles Wright 01-27-07


Robert Wrigley 10-11-2010


Robert Wrigley 08-17-07


Robert Wrigley 04-09-07


Robert Wrigley 02-03-07