“Sleep Reading” — Kristin Fulleton


Give me a key or code to write inside terms of movement and margins.
Communicated energy/muffled silence, decaying bodies, street sleeping.
Violence upon violence people-to-warmonger, no involved god; the
whistle of the marked man.

Desk to job, I wanted to be seen in white pages, black ink, red notes
tethered by your insight. Nothing cells—eventually activating, they made
a city, but not impeccable like days in Manhattan, wind at your back.

Epic machines and copies, a counterrevolution. The shape of nightmare
thin air, pushing a baby carriage, psychic heat, and force. Our houses
propel a barroom; we exchange and cannibalize a poetry of ecstasy. We
are inhabited.

Once shapely, an appetite for art and world becomes excision—despised.
Hallucination/hysteria in the temples fuel my own renunciation.
Fraudulent minutes, elaborate structures: purged of poetry.

Tough new tongue is a haunting fugue, plugged into the mantra: I exist to
write. Travel in languages, talking, eliding, dying, becoming, making
displacements of all kind. A self-sufficient warrior.

Months or minutes? Too soon to know, an inch of gain. The cops hold the
pages down, repeating, “Use the path in front of you.” Their hands are
raised. Again, it manifests: Your mind is water.

(separate out women from the language) But I was inside her. (you are
subject to arrest) Poetry is never over. (I swear if I see you, I’ll shoot) Will
there be doctors left?

Pilgrimage, the place where memory’s becoming. They say the subject is
just the development of hell.

Through their megaphones, gender, slavery, and law. We are made
subversive overnight.

Toward corners, hunting with forked tongue; lapping water, a vow to
help, to interpret, to disseminate.

Give me enemy soil—I will be able to crack a spiral in your world.

You ought to look up more often.

You are awake.




Kristin Fullerton lives in upstate New York. She is an alumna of both Elmira College and University at Albany. Her poems have recently appeared in Panoply, The Maine Review, and Up the River. She haphazardly documents her creative life on Instagram as kristinfullerton.

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