When Minerva’s Knees Hit the Ground by Amanda Oaks

songs by Deftones & poetry erasures by Oaks
Oaks’ original poems inspired by each song


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We cross matchstick
& gasoline, are wise
to the consequence,

hands heavy
with cups
full of night,

we drink
credence down
by the mouthful

because morning skies
shower too much shame,

on skin too thin
for our own light.


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Sometimes I apocalypse face down on the ground which means that I’ve peeled my fingerprints off my right mind. Which means my heart is falcon, is sailfish, is water slide. Sometimes I have too many edges that sharpen my tongue swollen with apology. Which means I am skinning myself of my tenderness & sometimes I forget who I am under all the mothering. Sometimes I am more lover than mother. Sometimes I mother my lover.

Once, at noon, I was drinking boxed wine through a straw out of a pre-mixed Kool-Aid container because my dishwasher was broken. Once I had Christ shoved so far down my throat that his feet poked from my mouth all day & people started to take notice & I hate being the center of attention. Once I was bitch slapped by a woman with schizophrenia. Once I was bitch slapped by a boy I loved because he was bitch slapped by his father. Once I tried to dye the water clear again. Once I tried to wash my eyes out with soap. Once I tried to slam the revolving door of my heart shut.

When your house is fire fuck tying your shoes, fuck brushing your hair for the news crew. Which means I miss the way we laugh together. Which means when your hair is burning you can’t shove a flower behind your ear to mask the smell.


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Distant Howling

150_aoAmanda Oaks is the founding editor of Words Dance Publishing, an independent press, literary blog + biweekly online poetry journal. Her works have appeared in numerous online & print publications, including decomP, Stirring, Glamour, Elle, Parenting, & Artful Blogging. She is the author of four poetry collections: Hurricane Mouth (NightBallet Press, 2014), her co-authored split book, I Eat Crow (Words Dance, 2014) & her series of free digital music-inspired chapbooks. Mama of two boys & a multi-passionate artist, she lives in rural western Pennsylvania, where she attempts to adult but is pretty lame at it. She digs dancing & poems that bloody her mouth just to kiss it clean.


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