Fear Is Venom
Spider in my bed
Do not bite me
Bite my toe and you are dead.
This is not a threat
But a reflex.
Scissor chips rock
Rock crushes scissor
Paper testifies.
Spider in my bed
Keep your venom to yourself
You have paralyzed my thoughts
Long enough.
Tea Leaves At 3:00 A.M.
Goodnight ceiling
I cannot sleep tonight.
Hello walls
How are your shadows.
She texts me
Her boxer pissed on the floor again
Ruined the rug
I think he’s dying.
She texts
Random letters capitalizing
On the fact she has lost it completely.
Two days
No sleep
Three hundred nine texts
No minutes left
The dog is dead.
She’s lonely
Wants to come over
No mountain of mess can dissuade her.
Just for tonight I say
Just bring your pillow I say
It’s all wet,
Water on the stove
Pants missing in the jungle
Of things
Robe to rescue
I read yesterday’s paper online
Fashion police take a vacation.
She’s in the doorway
Pillow in hand
I hold it
Heavy and wet and smelling of salt.
She takes it back, hugs it
Says she is grateful.
That’s nice, now
Place my face
Under the pillow
Place the pillow
Under your hands
Try to understand
You are smothering me
So get it over and done with
And let me be
Free of life
Of dying
And best friends lying.
Making false cups of tea
To read meaning in the leaves
That are not really there.
She cries some more
Stays until morning anyway.
Goodnight ceiling
I still cannot sleep
Let’s leave before the sun is up.
She makes herself breakfast
Somehow screws up eggs
They’re in the trash when I return
She’s gone.
Goes back to her place
Finds a brand new rug
Next to her front door
It’s her favorite shade of green
Wrapped in ribbon and bow.
I wasn’t gonna get her a fucking dog again.


Patrick Clemens lives and breathes as one of many in the network of Chicago suburban life, where he continues his studies in art and music. He appreciates history, folk songs, and the vibrant personalities that touch his life in new and inspiring ways. Patrick is pursuing a Bachelor’s In Science for Audio Production at the Illinois Institute of Art Schaumburg, where his passion for music, poetry and the power they can instill in the human spirit continues to be a source of inspiration and creativity in his artistic endeavors.

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Cover Photo: mgstanton flickr.com/photos/marirn