Poetry Suite by Robert Torres

Editor Sam Preminger, Poetry, September 12th, 2019

"I say “the French are killing protestors / left and right,” but I’m / wrong again, it’s only left."


Poetry by Robert Torres


Messiah Visits the Brick Quarry After the Flood

If you can swallow a disembodied
human eye whole
without salt or sugar
please write to the enclosed address.
I have an ant farm you
could stitch together
with all your expendable mirth.
You had so much time
to learn to dig a hole
in which to hide your beautiful
teeth among trees
and bite heads off
birds for profit and for pleasure.
One day you’ll silence
heaven’s final chorus,
every angel beating out its morse
code hymn: Believe
what you read inside
your mottled and cavernous skull.
Let this greying barn
be your cold manger,
temple mount, Gethsemane, all.
Planks of you
will patch the roof
and stay rafters from the rain.
You string of stones.
You accident of light.


Hotline Lady

The Hotline Lady says “what’s got you down?”
I say “my priorities are askew.”
I mean “fucked,” but I want to protect
the Hotline Lady’s innocence.
I sneeze.
The Hotline Lady says “the maples are fecund.”
I say “that’s a weird thing to say.”
The hotline lady says “even trees gotta fuck.”

The Hotline Lady says “move to France,
the French love poetry.”
I say “the French are killing protestors
left and right,” but I’m
wrong again, it’s only left.
I say, “I wish I knew the French
word for left.”

The Hotline Lady says “it sounds like
you have a lot of people who
believe in you.”
I say “Catholicism.”
The Hotline Lady says nothing,
but spends a moment
filling in the joke for herself.

I say “I’m feeling better.”
The Hotline Lady says “why did you call?”
I say “I feel better but I still felt like calling.”
The Hotline Lady says “you’re not better.”

The Hotline Lady says “you were born pretty.”
My grandma says “you were born pretty.”
My witch friend says “you were born pretty.”
The Grindr boy says “hi handsome.”

I say “my boyfriend has herpes.”
I say “my grandfather is dying.”
I say “my roommate thinks the neighbors
are spying on her.”
The Hotline Lady says “hmm.”
I feel guilty for dominating the conversation.

The Hotline Lady says “take some time
for yourself.”
The Grindr boy says “hey.”
Tinder says “hey is for horses.”
I say “I feel like a horseshoe crab.”
The Hotline Lady doesn’t get the reference.
I say, “I feel wet and ancient.”
My cousin says “you’re like Cthulu because
you sleep all the time.”
The Hotline Lady says “Cthulu is wet and ancient.”


Sunday in the Park with Mud

I turn my hips and
suffer as I wait
for my weekly walk.

I feed the birds
and wait.

I stand erect
in my shoes
atop the mud.

Why recreate our shame?

I tessellated a grid
of stars across
your back

and waited.

Why recreate?

What distance is there, I put
to bridge.

I can’t remember how
you saw me while
we were fucking.

Nothing wanton living
for my weekly walks

in the park.

I grow fangs, I grow fangs
to watch your blood flow
down their length.

I feed birds.
What if I ate dozens?

There is a distance.

Once a week is better
than nothing.

Nothing is worse
than once a week.


Going to Argentina

I boil with madness
I love you I am going
to Argentina to fall in love
I go away then I call
you up I meet your husband
He asks about Argentina
I tell him about you

You go to Argentina I
lose myself at sea in love
with losing myself I take
you to the pampas on my
(rented) horse I learn gaucho
songs I play for you I take you
on my (rented) horse from
the pampas to the city and the
sea You ask love to light
the way Night falls

The sea boils with madness
I boil with love I scuttle
in the dark Your husband
puts on the gaucho song
You dance


Last Day of Winter

Tonight I’ll buy a bottle of beer
and a new sundress
and swing it in the streets
                              (the bottle)
and hoist it above my knees
                              (the dress)
The cops will throw me in jail
I’ll meet my perfect lover in the morning
They’ll beat me up
                              (the cops)
They’ll lay me down to heal
                              (the lover)


Header image courtesy of Eloy Morales. To view his Artist Feature, go here.

Robert Torres is a writer and performer based in Portland, Oregon who has worked with Monkey with a Hat On and Twilight Theater Company, and has been published by 1001 Journal, Spider Web Salon, and others. They ran the Punk Poet Society in Denton, Texas from 2011 to 2014, and co-curated the Pegasus Reading Series in Dallas, Texas from 2014 to 2015. Their work explores anxiety, delusion, revolution, and the conundrum of having a body whether you like it or not.





Sam Preminger

Sam Preminger is a Portland-based poet. Their work has appeared throughout various publications and they hold an MFA from Pacific University.