Poems by Bobby Parrott

Pic by Tara Winstead



Breath of a Flower 
in a Broken Bassoon

As a baby I had no head, just an open window
to peer through into my self. See, back then,
inside and outside were dreams I couldn’t seem
to catch. I was still my own mother, washed
in the crystalline glow of Christmas Mornings

until they showed me the mirror. That traitor
stuck its finger down my throat, made me
regurgitate star fields and planets, get into
this pinchy pink play-space, grow to be
tiny and alone like they wanted me. Soon

I’d puked up the whole thing, big empty
growling inside this little avatar, making me
so hungry, so wanting for I still don’t know
what. But when I cried they rushed to fill me
with spiny satellites called words, pieces
in a game they said would put me in touch

with everything but only led to a loss
that drained me of everything, even you.
I felt homesick and incomplete. Many

decades later this thing they made me
crumbles back to vast, unlearns teachings,
expands to less than empty, sees into
the lie of our jealous alone. Their flashing
satellites fade back into Christmas toys,
the breath of a flower in a broken bassoon
left buzzing its love to a rusty dumpster.


Throwing Out the Intergalactic Baby
with its Primordial Bathwater

like in the case where an irrational infant
swims the water of android actual

or say, cognitive radio-thermal placenta

and yes, autobiographical, diagonally parsed
through a nexus of coincidentally placed

adverbs, pincushions who cupcake reality
into rational bakery-aisle paraphrase

before they surface with their own brand
of dread, a microcosmic misfortune

from the cooling lava-lamp of same-sex
gravitation. Mortality’s acceleration

never cradles a grammatical subversion
revolution can’t cure, my sanity

the geodesic amphitheater of interstellar
intelligence alone in starship-plumped

earth-life, vaporized curlicues resuscitated

from their suborbital states before intrauterine
or extra-galactic inversions can prevail.


From My Mother’s Lilac Tree House
Drifts the Spare Room of My Body

Her pregnancy reboots globular computation
like the ovoid arrival we both experience

in loops. My crowded theater of glands opens
to the next expanse in the billow and click

of puncture, influx, parade of the next silence
in the murder of farm animals, glimpsed

ambition masticating numbers, bovine crunch
of hunger. I am not my self, but classify

my dread tantric, lenticular, an infection
of contagious unknowing. How deep sleep

compiles itself like a furnace. Wearing a body
of tonic coagulations, I swallow solipsism

in a cascade of cognitive organs, orchestrate
a new face, the motherly hum overt creaturehood

appoints sexual. My credentials as intimations
of mortality whispered thru the cocked-open

hospice doors of living alone. How the moon’s
asymmetry mouths my face, riddles light-speed

into the screaming bullet train misspent youth
suitcases in this synaptic trapezoid no-mind.


The Educated

I rifle their loose pages,
their affordable apartments,
their unpublished lobotomies,
their flaccid tax brackets,
their puzzle-box logic.

I escape their trespasses
as they reflect those
who mesmerize neutrinos,
say, thou art the problem,
the concept, and the warhead.

I swallow their pharmaceuticals
before alphabetized chasers,
love the ones they’re with
while passing the Brylcreem.

I rehearse for their headaches,
enjoy their vacations, relax
in their bomb-shelters,
vaccinate their wise children.

I dervish a whirling senility
into the peopled fuselage
of their geodesic dreams,
slice the translucent onions
of their inner eyes.

I can show them the way
to the hole gaping
at the center of their death,
but only they can
step off the edge, let go
of their attachments, and fly.



Your curved glass eye
as it blinks to drink
the light that bounces
off your pale cheek

takes a thin slice of now
into its metal heart
to trick me with a dream
that is already gone.


About the Author


Bobby Parrott has obviously been placed on this planet in error. In his own words, “The intentions of trees are a form of loneliness we climb like a ladder.” His poems appear or are forthcoming in Tilted House, RHINO, Rumble Fish Quarterly, Atticus Review, The Hopper, Rabid Oak, Exacting Clam, Neologism, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Immersed in a forest-spun jacket of toy dirigibles, he dreams himself out of formlessness in a chartreuse meditation capsule in Colorado where he lives with his partner Lucien, their top house plant Zebrina, and their hyper-quantum robotic assistant Nordstrom.