Torrin Greathouse


i first remember this word
thick gristle in my mouth / like flesh
from between vertebrae
mechanical grind of teeth

                              but i am learning to love this
                             disability crept into my piece-
                                       meal of bones / rewrite
                                                   syntax of motion 

rail slide like a motherfucker
six inch heels & a fist-
full of painkillers
my cane / portable
stripper pole / third leg in
fourth leg joke

                                    i mean / my body is a joke
                                             & so i am writing you
                                                 a punchline / sorry
                                          i never learned to trust
                                              your sense of humor

so many names i devour
leave me hungry / differently-able
brave / special needs / victim of…
new words to tongue-
cut me into some / thing
that doesn’t disgust them

                                                        [in one sense]
                                           handicap is to take a
                           disadvantage / & alchemy this
                                              into victory / to win
                                           by rewriting the rules

Who is Monster

after Ari Banias

who is monster, is etymology of teeth
who is valentine, is heart-
gouged saint & festival of wolves,
who is howling & imagination
building a body from the unknown of its mouth

is monster howl
teeth or rose-thorn fingers, woman
sprouting fur & becoming wolf/man
is shed, how we abandon
skin & fur & teeth &
is disembodied or is birth
is ghost swaddled in its own sheet

is monster body
untranslatable, language swallowed
like wolfsbane or communion
is skin swallowing
its own limbs & giving birth
to new ones, is continents
of anatomy reforming
is adaptation/survival

body is cracked mirror
how you press your tongue to its broken
taste new mouths open
wet & snarling in your tongue
name this hydra & write love notes
in the lipstick afterbirth
of this beginning

is landscape
the way your cane has carved
a valley into your hand
is how wind flows through it
like a name, how body
tunes itself to a note & 
every tooth-filled thing opens
its mouth & the whole night

Read torrin's biography

return to issue 5: august 2017