person Paulie Lipman, one poem

Paulie Lipman (he/him/his) is a former bartender/bouncer/record store employee/Renaissance Fair worker/two time National Poetry Slam finalist and a current loud Jewish/Queer/ poet/writer/performer. His work has appeared in Button Poetry, Write About Now, The Emerson Review, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, Protimluv (Czech Republic) and Prisma: Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache (Germany). Their poetry collections from below/denied the light and sad bastard soundtrack are available from Swimming With Elephants Publications.


Blood Don’t Wash Off

not without taking
some skin with it

my two rapists
still run free in
my veins/spinal cord
choke chained
When subconscious
jabs electric, memory
spasms feral, rips
taut the leash hissing
rikki tikki across
savage expanse

First instinct is
panic forgiveness
of this violent pornography
forced amnesty
for its perpetrators
in exchange for release
but there is never
no one moment
that this ends, no
great glory howl
or hallelujah
just a deity
camouflaged in
small reliance
a war paint education
chasing reclamation
of tomorrow self

I don’t know
the vocabulary
of this place yet
Couldn’t give you
lay of the land
cannot map the
wildwood they
still infest,but
I refuse to
colonize this into ash
I don’t need to
burn it down to
know my way out
It’s through
the blood