WRITING

POETRY

At work, Natalie writes copy for ads and other marketing materials, which currently involves a lot of healthcare items. She knows more about hernias than she should.
 
Natalie is working on a series of poems that sounds crazier than it actually is. Though after reading a few, a fellow poet pointed to Natalie's head and said, "I had no idea that was going on up there." Here's a sampling of previously published poems and links to others.

POEMS ONLINE

Click on an image to go to the poem.

Dark Mountain
"Utah Complications"
Drunken Boat
"The Mums Are Always Dying"
Superstition Review
"Notes on Earth Life"
Origins Journal
"She Dreams in Triad"
15 Bytes
"Capitol Reef," "Here's What's Left of Lake Bonneville," "Pretending to be interviewed, the monster gets choked up, tells the cameraman to shut the damn thing off."
Rattle
"Discussing Earth's Insects"
Los Angeles Times
"Nobody Likes You"
Pamplemousse
"The Alien Chose He, but Now Wants to Be a She," "Here Is What's Left of Lake Bonneville"
Green Mountains Review
"The Smog That Rides the Salt Lake/Davis County Line"
SPECS
"Little Uninvited Mirrors"
CURA
"Rouge & Liner Notes"
Tampa Review
"Dear Bill Murray,"
Show More

NAMING A BAR

If this were a child, you would be careful—
contemplate distinctions, the way a life can alter
between Jane and Helen.

 

Long before you suckled a drop, the bar’s distilled

children were gifted their own import and resource.

Margarita: Latin pearls, Spanish daisies.
Amaretto from amore, apricots, bitter and sweet
almond pits. Gin from engine, the coniferous Juniper.

 

Label your bar anything: Rusty Parrot,
Cadillac Grill, The Wart. No one will mind
decay, out-of-style luxury, skin bulges.

Give it a neon sign, a random theme:
Cowboy Round-Up, Xanadu, Leprechaun Inn.

 

Paint the walls deep-purple night;
light your ceiling with orbs, imitate the street:
hard-edged stop, slow down partner, go.
Cars will line up all the way to the shoreline.

 

An ocean out the north window will drift in bruises,
periwinkle, light lavender, burnt urine.
Your place will be the intoxicated focal point
in this duotone scene of wet roads and white flags,

 

offering opaque notes—Tonic. Vermouth.
Whiskey aged in oak, water of life.
Bloody Mary: tomato juice, celery,
Cup of Burnt Protestants, Sea of Sorrow.

 

Originally published in Commonthought

THE TROUBLE WITH CLOTHING

What this life wants is a straight line. Speed

of light. To see

what’s on the other side of the barrier, the best

way to figure green.

 

The alien bends, whispers

a curse. He’s worn clothing long enough to know

when a seam pops the sound

of a human joint

 

it means unraveling

a coming ugliness.

 

But what’s undone is done. He lights a match

for comfort

 

a flare, a click

fingertip danger

the sound of wind

months with no rain

burn a field

a burger

books

one water dropped, comes to a hiss

a toilet bowl

heavy traffic on fast forward

strand of smoke

to ceiling

to hose to sky

tobacco

destruction

a snack

 

One quick stroke. Like spreading

butter or breaking a string.

 

Originally published in South Dakota Review

THE GREAT SALT LAKE HAS BEEN SHRINKING SINCE THE ROUNDING OF THE LAST ICE AGE.

The monster has lasted centuries

            with little light, in one place.

 

This lake once spanned hundreds of monsters,

           millions of gallons to roam.

 

Now he has a small city, a village

           deep enough to safely travel. He doesn’t mind much,

but wonders about humans and sun.

 

What will be done when the many things collected

           are uncovered? Bones and rings and rocks.

 

What was lost. Cast off.

           The trash of time. He and his house release

only what breathes oxygen or is little enough

 

to evaporate.

           Life gets smaller. Salt gets thicker.

 

The monster doesn’t consider lost love or favorites,

           the monster wants to know

 

what fresh water tastes like, how big a lung feels

           when it inhales.

 

Originally published in Pilgrimage