Redz by Kevin McGuirk

My insides go all cinnamon and crimson
and firecracker.

                        I taste paprika
in the wind
and its symphony
plays gingerly
and my ears flame
because they can’t settle
the score.

I want to polish your red.
Your four-poster red.
Your quarantined red.
Your desecrating red.
Your chain-gang red.
Your henna-happy red
you did with all your red girlfriends.
Your unconditional red.
The red you staked out
with all the hearts you’ve ever drained
and peppered
black and Cayenne.

I want your red
right through me.
I want your rust
to wrap me.
I want your red soul
red in your curves
and your folds
and your red shadows
and all the nude moments
where you can be red.

                        Red me now.
                        Red me loose.
                        Red me ever.
                        Red me off the table.
                        Red my sclera.
                        Red me with stigmata.
                        Red me with contagion.
                        Red me legion.
                        Drive my pigs
                        off a red cliff
                        into a fount
                        of red and red

                        and red.

Kevin McGuirk

Kevin McGuirk published poems in Cincinnati Poetry Review and Clifton. It’s not his fault both publications are now defunct; besides, that was a long time ago and the statute of limitations, etc. He has studied with Louise Glück, John Ashbery and Michael Harper and credits workshop experiences with them for his love of raw vegetables.

Here’s a quote Kevin just made up: “Dare.” Another: “If you’ve not heard Louise Glück read the line, “The moon throbbed in its socket,” or Michael Harper chant, “a love supreme, a love supreme,” then you haven’t been listening to the right music.” McGuirk cites as his biggest influences Don Bogen and Terry Stokes. “Bogen taught me about precision,” says McGuirk, “and hearing Terry Stokes read ‘Crimes of Passion: The Slasher’ taught me the beauty of nightmares, of surrendering completely to the voice of the other.”

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