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Five Pieces by Parker Tettleton | Word Riot

February 16, 2014      

Five Pieces by Parker Tettleton


I took a January test today – she’s twenty-four in seven months. For another country, on Friday, it’s the year of the horse. I wait for the train home with a blank screen used to predict arrivals on my left. It was zero in Chicago when I woke & where we are thirty-nine. It isn’t thirty-nine now. I’m halfway to twenty-seven this Valentine’s Day. The train lets me off at the convention center then I walk north. It’s 2014. I couldn’t be more or less West Germanic.

Valium From Mandy

I can be reached from the fist underneath my chin, either hand’s, on a nine-hole golf course, in or around parts of a complex, The Links, in Oxford, Mississippi 38655, the town I’ve lived in three times, the April wind coming up a stroked father’s father; I sit with myself at her, my neighbor’s two-place patio table, in the seat I fell out of the night after I fell over standing up—I’m here, Will was there—I moved to Portland, he to Seattle.

Green Line

I am well enough for a country. You know better. We share cities via text. You run marathons for nature. The walking helps me keep walking—I mostly eye steps. Similes remind me of trains: they both began before I didn’t want to survive. We share a city. The rain here isn’t rain. It’s the same as if it’s almost the stop.


She’s looking for a cat, my sister—not her birds. I want to understand what I’m asking. My birds aren’t birds. The fourth sentence is over what’s phoned in, under what’s sky. What birds? I’m talking to me. We discuss other countries.

Which Is Something Romantic

Stay too long, please. I’m watching trees do nothing but blow. Sometime later the bedroom door will open even if I don’t, even if I do not stand & step out. I’ll stand eventually, step out for a two block walk, for enough beer to slim the night & come back. I come back, I always do—I’m bored & do not like people or pets. I live with three anyway. I mean we’ve moved together, lived up & down two apartments, into & out of each other, ourselves—which is whatever it is. I live with me anyway.

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