Two Poems — Rhys Langston Podell

cochlear hopscotch

cochlear hopscotch fifth metatarsal
expungement between dividers and
government housing prepositions
pistachio ice cream on a warm Saturday
stinging nettle listening to oneself
on film on repeat
connecting postwar polka dots
stealing joy before itemized tax deductions

herein lies the petrissage
rolling blackouts on broadsides
application to be supplicant penthouse video art
quench rapidity like a president’s daughter’s nostrils
just when the first person exits
war crimes on Valentine’s Day
hot tub Geneva Convention Igbo reminders
of different gods less freighted

if these pages are the opposite of ending under an ocean
call stanzas collect
this poetry will not exist in submission
form or factor
no counting moneys fronted                                                or time
I hear two feet then one                                                        and so on
consciousness should be more                                            child’s play

against pictures

and then the eyes become devices
of the transient tense
more concretely
tragic mulatto google search
is abolished
dysphoria, the greek myth
a first person shooter
in retrograde
is anecdotes from the other senses

and then memory is every unreliable
narrator made town crier
between the ears
lines in the sand being stateless
card-carrying unions of something other
than words, sound, flesh

RNA bivouac tarpaulin rain-weathered
(where it is caught
                                   where it desiccates)
to lose focus, scope
mingle sights in
long distance conjecture
short-form decay

resemblance is a witness stand
goading perjury
should we be so lucky
to un-document,
see less of ourselves
in everything

Rhys Langston Podell is a musician, visual artist, and writer born, raised, and based in Los Angeles, California. Publications such as The LA Times, AFROPUNK, LA Weekly, DJ Booth, and SPIN have praised his musical efforts, notably the 2020 album and book Language Arts Unit: a Rap Textbook. Combining rap music as written poetry with a meandering lyric essay, and a mixed media painting using his own hair, it showed the full bloom of his many talents. A graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, he remains the poet laureate of his living room and has a higher vertical leap than your favorite rapper.