by Austin Beaton



Recipe Anxious


Months narrow in

single overcast cone

around this bathroom

without mirror to re-meet the self,

watch remembering the forgetting

to floss, get tires rotated,

forcing of wanting

to not want to

rip inner pink of the head

from under its scalp

skin. Smoke smell (practiced

assumed) not existent

(even when it is). Scan:

retinas shift, sunny

oak branch shade

in wind. Anger towards

a neutral stranger’s

way of face. Mouth inhale

air (should be spit).

Sweat high beams—behind

shoulder backs—

flashin’ ya

though the driver

maybe went over a hump


(maybe doesn’t mean it like that);

you won’t really know

like you won’t really know


is a receipt

for staying in, counting:

blood pulse, 7 car pile up

thought, the protons

in the bed post.

We regret to inform you

we don’t regret

to inform you

the morning is an envelope

is empty. Look:

not all people built

happy (though every one

built something). Race:

the truth you can’t

sprint out body, heart beat

ceiling fan felt spinning

you walk, trying staying

inside a name.



Pillow Talk


There’s no hell though

tonight satan a ‘possum

(eyes ricochet headlight

in us like food poison)

crawling around our convo

that zodiac, existential

swirl of here synchronous

two-chorus verse

(where I were,

why we’ll be).

Compatibility not born

but audible by the larynx

vibrating the right sentence,

pseudo permanent

stained teacup bottom,

thin coffee excrement

coiled into a seahorse,

walnut. Since you’ll die

death into that body

I track your bedtime breath

(like missiles

controlled by men

with familiar nose bridges)

and pull your hair

like a leash of the poodle

barking out its humanity

in moments visible

spit sunflower seeds

when the cost of life

feeling like living

is a lifetime. Grab the root

you actually whisper

but not less or more cinema

than ever, this gripping

of what will be a phantom

to miss, gravel road winding

from an existence dictated

of needing an oil change

or paying a ticket,

driving through a finite

looking infinite.




Evening Ain’t an Ending Ain’t Rebirth


Los Angeles tricks me

to wonder synesthetic:

wanna hear

deaf children listen


sign, wanna chew sunlight

multiplied pink through Chrysler

swerving around the tent home

living room décor

glittering the right lane

beneath an overpass

tattooed with a train track

making rusty school bus gear

rotate, open door automatic

like a woman (wide-hipped)

forced to wear sweatshirt

over ass because dad’s ghost,

other XY chromosome chirps.

No secret. We smell it true:

you will or won’t succeed

after forecasted the same.

Tweeted: cafe seldom-Yelped

outsources wisdom

inland to the Valley

mall Hallmark: And above all

make every day count:

meaning the nameless

will predictive model

which second cousin

eats Cheetos with a fork,

which prays the first time ever

in prison: If it wasn’t hard

everyone would do it:

mustn’t refer to us

all napping increments

towards a death,

laughing in Spanish,

Ebonics: sound wave

paragraphs of graffiti

stencil spray Caucasian

cement, 6% black in California

(most African American due West):

choreographed wild

of barred 7/11s, bathroom

Sharpie cursive, cocaine-in-lust

economists publish, republish

one sentence:

You won’t do much

more than this.




Austin Beaton studied Spanish and Creative Writing and regret at the University of Oregon, where he was a finalist for the Walter and Nancy Kidd Memorial Writing Competition in Poetry. His work has appeared in Peach Mag, The Stay Project, (b)OINK, Porridge Magazine, Voicemail Poems and is forthcoming in Oxidant Engine and the Angel City Review. He lives near the ocean in San Luis Obispo, California where he drinks flat H20 from a sparkling water bottle, bakes figs, gives nicknames.



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