Two Poems by Nicholas Rombes


Drone Wars: Episode II

Let me press yourself into your fucking
self until you disappear completely.

You are the executive
of unmanned hate

but also of love who
in cooling mansion halls never says
Northrop Grumman X-47B.

The skies are filled with bees
turning bodies inside out
with all the precision of a drunk surgeon.

Someone in the mansion nurses
another bad idea. Someone lifts
the curtains of flesh.

Look up. Look up.
Frigid in the high atmosphere
where the children are sleeping then
dropping into the substanceless world.

A fifth of a body. Can you smell it?
The stench of an idea
vapor-trailed to extinction?

Mirror neurons tell the story of the new
faith descending from a skyfull of blood
and sand and you don’t know how to escape
your own flame-struck thoughts do you?


Torture Stories

The harsh day and night
at the barn.
Lofts heaved
with rancid hay.

This nation.
This nation
of backyards and elemental
oaks. The leafy spray
of opened veins.

An idea rises and once
it takes shape the hinges
come lose.

A noose.
A pit.
A full socket
of eyes the size
of apertures.

The way the gun hums just
before it’s fired.


About the Author:

Nicholas Rombes, author of Cinema in the Digital Age and A Cultural Dictionary of Punk: 1972-1984, is an English professor in Detroit and also a columnist at The Rumpus. Some of his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Oxford American, The Believer, Exquisite Corpse, and other places.