Three intense, crafted, on-edge and no-holds-barred poems, on love for men and words and music and more, from C. Russell Price’s acclaimed debut, TONIGHT, WE FUCK THE TRAILER PARK OUT OF EACH OTHER.

Lemoncuts and Paperjuice

For once in your wicked life,
let your skin breathe in the dayheat.
The freckles next door are singing.

The body is covered in a million rivers,
hot-pink, scarring estuaries and all the fish
that scurry up your thighs and sides
slowly bubble through inflamed wet breaths:
We will leave you ruined; we will kiss you with shame.
Remember, remember the writes is a blesséd thing.

At night, the dermis dreams of being a chameleon,
of being an unstretched, uncut canvas, all surface.

Goodbye, beach and any possible porn career.
Poor boy, no one pays for a dented-car stripper-trick.

Say: a bear attacked you. Say: auto-accident, house fire,
glandular disorder, constantly chilled, say something
to turn the eye to everywhere else. Make up everything.

Drown everyone in your concealer and coriander,
cloud the world with powder-puff bombs
whilst you live on celerywater and speed.

Ars Poetica: [We’ll Take Our Turn, Singing / Dirty Rap Songs]

The world needs more drag
you out into the street poetry—
enough with the dishwashing,
watching your kid throw a fuck
-ing baseball for the first time.
Give me all that you can’t pick up
the phone and tell someone.
No more souls
or truth or freedom–abort
your breathy abstractions.
All my (wo)men moderately pissed off,
come to the page ink-tongue spitting.
The best of all the dirty words is:
complacency–next to: normative–next to:
meta. And for the writer who’s breathing
without seething over love’s legality
or the sensitivity of someone else’s womb–
I’ve got something for his punkass:
trigger after trigger of untouchable topics,
a love for the words pussy and chartreuse,
a whole catalog of men ass shaking lines.
Boy, where you came from
is not where you are. E. Bishop,
the baddest of all bitches, said write it,
Yoshimi, it’d be tragic if those evil robots
win. If we settled for so much mediocre meditation
(the fluff, fluff, pass of cute poems),
I’d order a recession
on all your bullshit.
Some books should be burned.
Can you hear the gear flick of my Bic
hungry for all those darlings you’ve wasted?

Whatever We Do, It Will Not Be Pretty

It starts with a tidal wave and 24 years
of searching for your wingless image.

When all is said and done, they will boil you
down to one indigestible line.

You will stand-in for a whole brood
of boys, mon petite motif.

I will make an everyman of you,
even the daffodils will have your hazel eyes.

It starts with gin and ends in jack,
the smell of his boozy collar

after an evening of begging other men.
Naked at home, smoking in bed,

you think you two are suddenly art.

When I walked out of the Korean liquor
store, the streets were completely barren.

I have died in aisle three, in a sea of congnac,
I croaked holding your six-pack.

Your wristslips seem like his, foreign
pronunciations and indiscernible idioms.

I’ll force a world on you:
I’ll paperdoll you

into a story you cannot
control. You will not want.

Poems and image published with permission of the author of TONIGHT, WE FUCK THE TRAILER PARK OUT OF EACH OTHER (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016).


C. Russell Price is an Appalachian genderqueer punk performance poet who lives in Chicago. Their work has been featured in Assaracus, Court Green, MiPoesias, Nimrod International, voicemail poems and elsewhere. They hold a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Northwestern University (where Price currently teaches poetry writing). Price works with literary journal The Offing and performs in Chicago. Their debut chapbook, TONIGHT, WE FUCK THE TRAILER PARK OUT OF EACH OTHER, was released on Sibling Rivalry Press in June, 2016.