The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2016

All Issues
OCT 2016 Issue


for Amy Matterer


awkward pose as award year
raising the bar to medium
mediocre podium middle career
cat nap in an abandoned fridge
anger as subtle as a broken child
screaming out a sniper’s space
I won’t give that rage a name
slippery platform dump to past due
would you feed the meter on that babe?
social feed featuring first day of school
passive comments aggressively angled
(ok fine. it was cute.)
turn it down a notch, would you dear?
your photostream is a highly edited work
the official policy on nipples
is flush this quarter
two whole new channels
dedicated to body politics
gist being
that nipples are more than body
and are just asking for it
do you know what they do with those things?
chat that red flag commentator
keep the parasites afloat running
hit counts and bast worship
news cycle just about keeps up
rheumatic and crippled to join flynt
a kingdom of exploitation and manipulation
he called  your hand
that must burn worse yet
are you ashamed to say goodbye?
that’s your white promise
gasping in retreat
it’s light out chappie
for your understanding of culture
is flat jack up on this affront
he’s not a billboard
he’s your brother
married off to that nice cynthia girl
before she found out his viewing distance
cross county there he stands
a beacon of recruitment
have a beer
have a girl
have my girl
hey, jus kiddin
ain’t I baby?
billboard brother says
others had it better before you
and god forbid
someone has it better after you
message to overgrow and underpass
third rate skinny dipping (just as friends)
traveling long distances for hopes
in a supremely uncomfortable ride
confusing my friends
as recipients of dick pics
I shit you not
people of the future
are a real phenomenon
that nobody asks for
and yet here we are
in a poem
spending valuable time
on how uneducated we are
in sex, gender, decay and pleasure
so disappointing
you able bodies
you throbbed constellations
lounging lazily without checking
screen for departures
you there
useless dude
stop messing with my friends
you there
oppressive den mother
stop messing with my friends
you there
manipulative egotists
stop messing with my friends

shaken sugar packet fallen to foam
loud couple agree on the concept of respect
you know what I mean
there’s always a thing between us
a rain thing that hides interloped
throat makes all conversation
louder and more gunfire laugh
that is siren not enjoyment
flee the coral cut edge
that guy has you fooled
oh yeah oh yeah
lady you better stay away
oh yeah oh yeah









Make It Rain


worship arrives on air current
a missive strikes
me this it’s me it’s me
rings a hidden exit experiment 
vibe rallies the horn section
so baby alright baby
so don’t be uptight
break your back
eye the escape
the fire last time we spoke
was tongues and glances

missing interdependency replacing open door
exits are all about horizon
or not but usually true
direction isn’t just a concept
we doctor the word
on currents now blown
to the worn burgundy rug
the only thing that survived
is a language we don’t need to understand









Internal Geography


equatorial line sluices the rose bud
above and below the temperature drifts
in and out a species trigger upon collision
meridian clause to the loving element
notched beaks peck the time twine
strings together a lack of new vocabulary
the backyard that proceeds us
seats us among the crabapple
champagne grass bubbles out a breeze
echo canyon soundtrack trekked a haunting
through memorized rifts it’s all one band
that finger plays a charmed fool
playhouse matinee to matinee
theatre to cabaret same stage
different wish different hour
and it’s in my chest
lift systems set mechanics belief
system fantasy engine drachma tout
fort metal stone flesh bone carbon
copy ration brain trout up stream
dying spawning swimming
hidden inverse space doughnut
inedible in life but who knows
death better than a woman
knows life cheap shot acknowledged
I’m sure it means something clever
even if “it” is undefined and untenable
thought electric pissing through a system











addressing my melancholy by national review
model recurrence of good ally across
holding back that toe to dip into power
sugar cane turn to molasses my friends
are treated as less than a bushel economy
harvest moon armor attention that goes forever
human code the existence for futile meditation
fire in the hole of yosemite’s eye field
heat traits in surface tension to think
that we are clandestine units of predictable
motion close it out and spread the gas masks
forward is just backward once again
we forget how to parse the important stuff
me you him her all gasping terminals
letting the algorithm dictate opinion option
the view just one paddock of the news market
supposedly we’re more connected than ever
to the stuttering desires of suffering
now drown under the bankroll and thread control
a woman throws the canister back to the cops





Jessica Fiorini

Jessica Fiorini is a poet living in Brooklyn, NY. Her chapbooks include Sea Monster at Night, Take it Personal and the forthcoming Make it Rain. She works as an experience designer and has recently produced the official NYFF selection Oceans VR: Net Positive with Object Normal for The Economist.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2016

All Issues