Three Poems

Poetry by Rachel B. Glaser
"Whispering Heads" by Brad Holland

Crickets in the basement

hunched on the concrete floor
they leap far away when I do laundry

one stands completely still on the dusty stairs
they’ll never know what grass feels like, I think
imagining generations of grungy, moody
inexperienced crickets
trapped in a wasteland of broken chairs and cardboard boxes
never seeing the sun

I must free them!
the basement crickets must touch earth!

I ask the internet if crickets have families
and learn they feast on dirty clothes
and sometimes eat each other
they sleep during the day
and do cricket stuff at night

I click what does it mean when a cricket visits you?
and get lost on a website of symbols
am seduced into a digital tarot reading
but refuse to give my email and never see my results

I’ll never free the crickets
it would be super hard to catch them
plus I’m complacent
I eat animals I would’ve liked on Instagram
my inner light has dimmed
I rarely leave my turret
who am I to decide their fate?

maybe the crickets are filled with animal joy
and love the cold floor
the silence
the lint
slinking around in their film noir dramas
philosophers and murderers
making weird music
dreaming in the dark
having crazy sex under the stairs

If we must die I want death to be fantastic

a mansion we dance in
a diner of strangers

I want there to be places
or at least sections

I’d love there to be quilts
to be able to talk still
about the Beatles

If we must die I want death to be deep
a long dark talk

then I will walk a long dark walk
and see purple vines
and people from different eras

I’d rather it felt more like sleeping in an attic
than being stuck in an elevator
but probably there won’t be anything

there won’t be hors d’oeuvres
why would there be?

why would there be a reckoning with prizes and punishments?
a Q&A

there’s no gala
but can we shoot the shit in some massive cave

a grey room
a dirt floor where I read the thoughts of my ancestors

a mysterious train ride
a lingering interlude

something to cling to behind the curtains

porn star

I saw him once and liked him
then lost him for many weeks
recalling how he whispered and seemed frantic

I found him again, doing what he does
memorized his fake name

by mistake I read too much about him
and his wife
his ex-wife, his son

he isn’t thin but why should he be?
in the early videos he has long hair
and they speak another language
in dreamy fits on big white beds

he isn’t just good at having sex
he lives for it
he saves me from watching cold uncreative men

I try to picture his early encounters
I imagine it was the way any person discovers their genius at anything
lightning! ecstasy!

Rachel B. Glaser

Rachel B. Glaser is the author of the story collection, Pee On Water, the novel, Paulina & Fran, and the poetry books, MOODS and HAIRDO. She teaches fiction in the low-residency Mountainview MFA program and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Brad Holland

Brad Holland is a self taught artist and writer whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Time, Playboy, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Rolling Stone, New York Times and many other national and international publications. In 2005 he was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. Brad Holland lives in New York City and continues to work on assignments and commissions from clients around the world.