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BJ Soloy 

[Inaudible Question]

Rain on the windows sounds like mice

on their wheel. The world’s song


has become noise, but not like Eno

or Thurston Moore or Laurie Anderson

or Cage noise—like wet mouse noise,


like one whose ear starts to sing.

The twenty-first century gets darker but never


dark. Sleepy but never asleep. Asleep

but never sober. “I haven’t slept,” I whisper


to you through the rodent noise of your

tinnitus. “The twenty-first century

is a singing ear.”

Dear Floor, I am Falling

                                                                     for Skoog


This expensive dog the color of a pitted-out white button-down

barks at I suppose the grass. “Ma’am, I’ve named your Bichon Frisé

First World Problems.” I can’t stop repeating myself, an analogue


tape loop, a prog rock riff, my excuses ornate as a fall-down bus station

’s tin ceiling pressed in a time of boom. My attention pushes me around

like a shopping cart and the afternoon takes a turn, like Cindy


asking me out to lunch & then propositioning me with a nutraceutical

pyramid scheme. People used to say I looked like Jake Gyllenhaal

or the guy from Shameless or at least my brother; now they just ask


if I’m ok. I haven’t prayed in twenty-seven years, just barely long enough

for my lack of faith to have blossomed & died at the height of its popularity.

Tonight, what I don’t pray for are our recently dead. Rather, it’s the mess


they left behind. When left behind, I hope to be pretty enough that my image

is used to sell shit that people don’t want or need but maybe deserve. Yes,

it’s the same Cindy from earlier. Yes, Ed is done with dog poems. Dear Floor,


you’re a car that’s all headlights. Last night was empty orchestra night

at the Uptown & my morning throat’s a littered dance floor 

of gin & Bowie. This is a one-lane bridge. Dear Floor, let’s be adults


about this. The Mississippi’s the color of a puddle from an overnight

flash flood pooled inside a corpse itself stuffed into a rusty shed. A rock drops

in & scoops a hole charming as the shape of a mouth singing the national anthem.

The Second Descent

The ground will thaw & freeze & the snow

on top of the mountain will become a heel


stomping the beer can house

at the bottom of the mountain. Five cent refund.


So shall I be disfigured.


Light will nibble at the surface of the winter

‘s river then slow under cloud cover, giving up,


then petrify from silver into shadow

then blinding then blind.


Dramatic slow-mo shot with lens cap on.


They’re killing Barnum & Bailey, the last man

on the moon. A man with a prop Bible


approaches the corpses.


There is no dramatic breeze left

for your elephant graveyard.


We’re so bored that we’re overshot

back to sober. This voice is always stuck


in my monologue like the Gideon’s Bible

in the bedside drawer of some hotel room

we only rented for the sex. I believe.

I believe the infirm


will not dance again, though we’ll dress them

in their best at the end. To make this all


a tent revival—a re-pastoral—you’ll paint

the bloated corpses as models of sleep.


I’ll sell the catastrophic horizon as sunset.

BJ Sovoy

BJ Soloy is the author of Birth Center in Corporate Woods (forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press), Our Pornography & other disaster songs (2019, Slope Editions), and the chapbook Selected Letters (New Michigan Press). His favorite song is Lou screaming "Tomato!" while hamfisting a piano. With Julie Rouse and the Tomato Kid, he lives in Des Moines, home of the Whatever. 

Bear Review


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