As we’ve been yelling from the rooftops and the interwebs for a few weeks now, the latest edition of Phoebe, issue 42.1 is published. So far we’ve given you a glimpse at some of the prose filling the pages of our print edition, including an excerpt from a short story and a personal essay. While Phoebe offers great writing in many genres, the journal is really a dream for poetry lovers. Phoebe 42.1 features no less than fourteen poets. Among them is Nick Demske, whose poetry is included in our Special Poetry Feature. Here’s Demske’s poem “Beasting the Awesome Sauce.”
Beasting the Awesome Sauce
for Matthew Harnessonto the andele, I’m on belay, flashing an off-width—watch me—I Z bonethe T bone Zamboni crony smooth. Short-fused muse, powder sugar kegstand your orcastrations all up in my dog ears. Never seean such a whale sharkin all my dog years. Learn me of the Awesome Sauce slathered on the butcheredbeast, feast my sonar beast mode ode that I might take dictations stately. Singme the one about Matthew dynoing cruxy boulder problems—the Regift ofGod blessing the MIC with Awesome Sauce, simpling the calc. I said neighborhood Matthew, stunted, lover of Screamo and Death Metal. Matthew trollingdowntown Racine’s side streets, pedaling his derrière all over the areàr what.Petter of rottweilers, Grand Thefter of Autos—O!–pix most elated. My mane isbraided; my tail is crimped. I ride the bucking beast my pretty self is—unbreakened–churning with beast mode.
This poem’s about fear. This poem’s about the fear of going under water up toyour ears, the fear that it will flood into your head and blow your brains out.The fear of your mother writhing on the floorboards possessed, schizophrenicwith demons. Matthew, you are Mark. You are the Mark of the Beast ModeOdium. I want to save all my fear for a God I don’t know yet, I want a lust forLife, a gluttony I want to rage! I want to Son, stop climbing. Stop reachingfor the heavens. Slip out of your Harness and let it go.Jump.
Nick Demske is a rogue librarian, maniac prophet, devastator, and redeemer of words. His first book is titled “Nick Demske.” Nick was featured in 2011 as one of fifteen emerging poets to watch for by Poets and Writers and his book was chosen as one of the 10 Best Books of Poetry in 2010 by a Believer Magazine reader survey. A year ago, he went on a month and a half-long, cross-country book tour that involved giving 43 readings, driving over 10,000 miles, having his vehicle searched for drugs by Kansas state troopers and sleeping in 5—count them, 5!—Walmart parking lots across the nation. Is there anything more patriotic? Probably. Nick also curates the BONK! performance series in Racine, which is basically like Christmas every month. You may visit him online sometime at his blog.