Poetry by Trina Burke: “Argument Against the Earthy Pigments”

Poetry: Trina Burke

Argument Against the Earthy Pigments

Our family motto is

I want to hold my son and have him talk at me with the cuteness of dumping beer-drowned slugs.

Pericarditis. Someone put a cork in the aorta. It sounds like a valentine.

The apples are at that stage of unblemished ripeness that is perfect and I don’t have to worry about finding worms in them yet. But that will come.

I am filled with affection today. Titian red.

Is that her?



The more I write about it, the more it becomes a pathology.

Like a cool pillow.

Our sheets need washing. I sweat right through them last night. Between the cleaning

and the arrival of guests.

At least make the effort, the thought being what counts.




He’s a hermit homebody like me.

He said yesterday that he doesn’t like to meet strangers.

It is okay. 3 is not a lot.


I cannot drag him kicking and screaming.

It may be he’s just waiting for his body to be big enough to not fall into the toilet.

So it’s going to take a little limbering up to get back in the game.




The best possible scenario is that at the moment of death all of human knowledge becomes accessible to us through some sort of collective memory, sensory-sharing oneness and we finally know all the things we’ve wanted to know.

Quantifiability is a false sense of security, but if you get beyond the basic levels, mathematics becomes a hermeneutics for understanding phenomena.

What I could do without all this noise.

What couldn’t I do if I managed some semblance of silence?

I can’t be responsible for the end-user experience.

The assumption is that we should know it all and be able to assimilate it and utilize it correctly.




Interrupted by break-in attempts.

Never being without relentlessly desiring.

People who feel trapped trample each other.

Doesn’t anyone feel trapped?

Or maybe everyone feels trapped and we’re all in shock.

Like bees lulled by the smoke of a burning building so much so that they burn
with it.

Run faster approaching the finish line. Do not slow.

Si, se puede. There’s another palette for fall

that doesn’t include ochre and rust. It’s blush and verdigris

in stark relief against neutrality.

Cool like a pillow. Not warm at all.

Trina Burke is the author of Battledore (Slash Pine Press, 2017), Wreck Idyll (Dancing Girl Press, 2013), The Best Divorce (Alice Blue, 2012), and Great America (Dancing Girl Press, 2011). Her poems have appeared in The Nashville Review, Beecher’s, Juked, TYPO, Horse Less Review, and others. She is an assistant editor of Bone Bouquet, a journal of new writing by female-identified and non-binary poets. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Montana and lives in Seattle.

Image: flyingpigcoatings.com

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