BathHouse Journal

Stacy Szymaszek




the radio announcer repeats it on the hour
more people have heart attacks the Monday
after daylight savings due to the stress
of losing one hour of sleep my heart
is a pinball machine with a steel
orb defying gravity in its valves and no
it’s not indigestion it’s florescence and no
this is not a reliquary it’s just a glass cabinet
with an eye-catching theme and someone
with the initials of SAS keeps attaining
the low score but she is playing for two
having taken the dark part of the blizzard’s
heart into her own and then it’s poet be like
Tesla and light it all up without wire
or speech I’m trying to distance myself
from how lurid it is to be so sexy yet lacking
proper timing it may indicate that
I have for too long offended the gods
with my morbid definition overly proud
that my broken tooth makes me feel
more like the shark with bejeweled
eyes I play at being to mitigate my
human tenure look at all of these
flippers! warm air contacting cold makes
the glass so steamy I lose the orb into
the drain DING you get the booby prize
when I wake up in the morning
I’ll be a decade younger





put on wolf suit post-tantrum it’s a flight of style like the Zazou
but more wild arm hair has fallen out as facial hair comes in fit to
create fascist fits practice jabbing at eye sockets added to ball-
crushing with my now floating knee cap too thick soles
and syncopated walk the syncopation bothers the breastfed
on harmony with Gaud my name is IAN not Max he was pulled back
by belief in a hot meal Ian the Menopausal the Third
from the Latin to create pause to mankind syncopate your walk
and you get in mystery’s grill drop some letters probly the same
meanwhile they in public servant wear swatches of ill fitted
concealing that they’ve disappeared their bodies to the state
TRY IT an aubergine three button negatively impacting my water
crystals their bodies resurrect composed of pillow and razor
fuck you fucking with the aesthetic beauty of my crystals it requires
a dozen repeat listens to one Sonny and Linda Sharrock song
to restore their shape or sliding into a fellowship booth to kindly
dialogue for a minute longer than it took them to spend half a mill.
when I say “you will learn to mind me” it means we are attuned to each
other’s golden baskets that what will be born of our love is more erotic
twitching the length of my service is a chevron longer than my life line
tease a double meaning “Syncope” noun into proper noun blood
pressure falling not to death but to swoon front paws against a tree





the mattress inches across
the floor I think “life of mattress”
plus gravitas of my body heat up
half of yesterday’s coffee
bathed last night pleased
I can get to work post-
haste! I was raised by
cows I vow to never make
my loneliness anyone’s problem
no we cannot be tipped I possess
all the top qualities of nonprofit
leaders very upsetting
“make the font more boney”
“make the blue brighter”
“the last email came through
skinny on my phone”
hey sorry your phone is
broke snagged by my diplomacy
filter many of us go the way of
dog as companion
harnessing emotions first
experienced as a kid whenever
he went missing he was eating
the neighbor’s trash you
can learn to be a better top
from monks and with continued
study every act in the circus
improves the hair on my
upper lip has deepened a shade
it twitches when I speak not
in a rhetorical fashion this aging
system tells fat to head
for the handles I’m ergonomically
correct for fucking I care about
you so much I’m going to eat
your feelings and not get it all
over my robe I still have no idea
if sex has to make the heart love
but I’ll die denying that I love
you I can plan a gala blindfolded
my astrologer said as a matter
of fact everything is better when
I’m in charge but I care about you
so much I’ll let you think
that you’re in charge


Stacy Szymaszek is the author of the books Emptied of All ShipsHyperglossiahart island and Journal of Ugly Sites & Other Journals, which won the 2015 Ottoline Prize from Fence Books. Her book A Year From Today will be out in 2017. She has been a mentor for Queer Art Mentorship and a regular teacher for Naropa’s  Summer Writing Program. She’s has been working at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church for 10 years, as it’s Director since 2007. Before that, she worked at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, WI.