June 26, 2018

Seasons, Identity, Longing: The Poetry of Emily Ellison

Seasons, Identity, Longing: The Poetry of Emily Ellison



AS a leaf autumnally

As a leaf autumnally pitching in

wind, I am ravished by the airs of your

mouth. Tumultuous I fly, bending, more

corrupt with every spineless form of sin.

I collapse continually, again.


With ancient hands you seasonally pour

decay in my ripe buds, for, on Earth’s floor,

I’d received too much tenderness of skin,

more than you care to comply with. Veiny

contempt spirals with pollen as a new variety

to lovemaking, and hands stretch empty, brown.

The petulant stem I am quakes, grainy

limbs forming foliage of impiety.

As your leaf, I toss like a mind in sundown.




how you do reconcile

the dying breath

of the flickering fluorescent young?

their waning lights of ecstasy

throughout weekly hazards

are simulations of warmth.

the impoverished and the empowered

have no battle, no voice

to reprimand repressions.

the waves

wash like an acid,

a cloak of erasure

(the game’s over)

cleanses those

patients whose patience

dwindle with memory.


the embezzling Alzheimer

summits pinnacles


the girls walk

with arms

hugging shoulders,


in congeniality,

conspiring against

those renegades.


they are putting the vacuum

to use

so be fit,           be put

to sleep eternally,

be happily

sucked off,

have the liveliness teased out

from underneath

the skin

(the crevices of our brain

beg the mercy death).



ALL my pretty loves

Where has Touch gone, my stairway to rapture?

Heaven’s rope twists meaning, and my pretty

loves all collide like infidelity

to acknowledge my dead eyes—lust’s fracture

bled from the core to external stature.

Fingers create celestial cities

on skin no more, and the bed is gritty.

Stainless sheets swath, ridicule, and capture


my throat as I watch you pulling away,

into that embrace of nothing, your first

warmth. I’m the infant restored to the womb,

asphyxiated, red, and alone. They,

all my pretty loves, regard the drowning thirst

of their wanton woman in her caustic tomb.



the almighty architect

with arms akimbo,

“why, why?

I loved you,

but you loved yourselves



heavy heavens weigh

with inamorato’s tears



the angels weep

as they dismantle their

feathered wonders,


“but alas, humanity is dead!

where now lies the distinction

between man and demon?”

their golden tears falling

just to blacken and


the angelic colony


reduced to black soot,

for with their failure,

they are no more worthy

of the kingdom of heaven

than ground pollution


mourning winds carry

dust of their lonesome bodies

floral aromas


the skeletal souls

(if you can claim their souls),

rattle, splinter, bow with burden,

existence dwindling,

with each


of the increasing dead,

a ceaseless pondering,

“can you possibly ebb away

that which had no being before?”

and the remaining mutations,

helpless against devils’ whims,

whittle, wheedle, pierce away

with relentless chisels,

attempting to force forms

into stony molds

but breaking bones instead


at his giddy show

director Beelzebub laughs



the black forces,

with eternal thirst,

do not feed passively

but whisper sweet nothings

to aid their feast,

with tasty dissimilation,

“I always loved you more”


morsels of their bods

constitute heavy rainfall



ARE you touched, my love

Are you touched, my love, accounted for? Who

scoops the soul out of gray squalor and brushes

the spirit with watercolored thrushes

feeding in foliage? Those honeydew

palms of yours perfectly hold my seeded brew,

my stringy body. In the curve that hushes

sense, I might hang myself off your luscious

veins. Black lashes give breeze, I bend: bamboo.

I want to twirl around your long fingers

like a grass blade, whistling green tunes, like a bird

delicately searching the earth for seeds.

Among your yard my frame wants to linger

a little long, rather than premature.

I want to replace all the baleful weeds.


botanical wax

today, I don’t quite

reach verbal expectancy,

my small calls fall

just shy of the giants’

selective hearing, allowing

porous sound to dribble

out in bulbous pulses.

reverberated vibrations spore

in grainy shallows of my makeshift

garden, rotted with knowledge

that I’ve hit bedrock bottom


turned wild, my unsatisfied

paradigms heighten on

a shoe-string kite, my noose

imprinting the guiltless sun’s

mustard fluff with diamond

desperation. fingered pollination

pulls the rope taut and spanks

with red discipline, so I reflect

dewily, dripping off bare-bottomed

children until their mothers clip rooted

attitudes clean, holistically cultivating

my incoherent matter, mastered

fashionably by their palms


sunk in the cankered paddock,

my sorrow is slivered sleek

on fertility’s easy edge, a seedling’s

dreams forgotten, merely synthesized

for potted decor, the dilapidated

statue of botanical wax.

can you believe it?

I stand so still and slight,

a twig-thin archetypal prime

slapped into shape



Emily Ellison is a second year MFA poet at Texas State University, where she also works as an Instructional Assistant for their English faculty. Her work has appeared in Literary Yard, After the Pause, and Haiku Journal, and is upcoming in several places. Emily lives in San Marcos, Texas with two cats, of whom the squirrels are curious, and an abundance of plants.



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