By Nick Twemlow


From issue #7 “Property Lines”




In this world, the unrated world, we get to do whatever we want.
The unicorn spearing the city in its gut.
The fashion of home movies,
boy sets out for bigger
& brighter, eyes gleaming a life
living in the hazardous fray of jump-cuts.


Pool’s edge. A salt lick of coke. The zoo, where Silverback apes
grieve the dead. One sniffs the stiff body, laid in wake.
It nose strolls every inch, as if down a boulevard clear-cut through the jungle,
searching for something recognizable. Another
surveys the body, lays its head on an outstretched arm.


The zookeeper told reporters she cried herself
into a headache.
People are eating each other in the North. But in the South,
comrade, a little girl stokes a campfire
as the shadows multiply,
as a stick breaks underfoot, and underfoot
is the first break of dawn.




Balaclava pulled tight,
track lighting & closed
circuit & wide angle &
the invisible poles, adrenalin
& serenity, click
into place. This is my son’s
seventh birthday party.
It is the year 2014. He did not
ask for a clown. He did
not ask for a petting zoo,
though he has never seen
a real goat chew a real tin can.
It is only nine years
from today. He asked me to recreate
a convenience store robbery,
which he called
“the Old West.”




Have to rewind the tape
so many times
the tape’s never been the same.
A cold front readies,
little fires break out


all over the country’s face.
Some animal cried out
last night.
As the old man seated
at the kitchen table


whittled at his calloused
– not his soul, exactly.
All the while the woods
creak and moan, the moon
tenderly evidences
the moon,
leaving nothing to chance.
The moon is not a scab to pick at.



These poems first appeared in MAKE #7, “Property Lines.”







NICK TWEMLOW spends his time writing and making films. His first book of poems, Palm Trees, will be published in September of 2012 by Green Lantern Press. He also serves as a senior editor for The Iowa Review and co-editor of Canarium Books, a publisher of contemporary poetry. He has made several short films, and some of them have played at festivals all over the world, including Tribeca, SXSW, Slamdance, Shnit International, Athens, FLEX, and Starz Denver. He recently produced The Trapper, a short drama shot in Iowa, where he lives. He was awarded a Princess Grace Foundation Honorarium in Filmmaking in 2011.

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