Three Poems

Three Poems
by Adam Stutz

The Performance

The failure of balance

leads to the activation

of commerce—                        a dense orchestration

congestion’s habit       in a loving mumbling

of cortex                      fingers + tendrils

lingering like caffeine

metabolizing in shakes

The instigation

of tender scraps

of interchanges about corrections

plays over       the radio          of the inner ear

The lumbering statements

of cerebral traffic control

monitor approach       + descent

+ narrow misses          like the large fingers

of swinging cranes

over creaking buildings            growing

the skyline—

the staggering vision

of distance                   erasing pathways

+ a map for language

+ coordination

+ memory—

one-sided conversations

stretching like a tarnished canopy

warp to bend + warp again

My recall                    of what we said parting

in the morning

is a series                     of failed props—

unknown structural


an ineloquence

tailoring a constant failure

with surprising variations

of bad coordination





My ghosts are idle backhoes—

my favorite love notes

rusted skins

resting in damp brush

among abandoned construction


metal monsters

(we age by our recollections

driving blind    into melancholy—

into our flooding chambers—

+ what am I after?

A bricolage

my haphazard bones

w/ which to build

a home

A ragged nest              battered nights

to plot white-washed remembrances

These beasts   befit

the vowels of

affection just out of reach

Due to fear of displacement

I am looking for a line             a collection of greetings


leaving             scattering + slipping

or becoming scrap




It starts w/      the water stain grown


bringing to mind

you as a forgone conclusion

This blemish is fond

of necessitating           a prod

an incision       +          pulling strings

into a haunt

Through my dirty lenses

a familiarity emerges

wearing            seasons of white down

holding                        reference askew

the loam

of a memory of April

Your frame remains     a skeletal artifact

in my faculties —

a life remote    + indelible—

you are a glimpse

of Paris                                    on a postcard

behind a closed                        glass door

I cannot reach


Adam Stutz is the author of Transcript (Cooper Dillon Books, 2017), The Scales (White Stag Publishing, 2018), and the co-curator of the Non-Standard Lit Reading Series with Mark Wallace and Jeanine Webb. He currently resides in San Diego, CA.