April Poetry Month (Day 2): Nick Demske #npm16 #wppoets

[April Poetry Month 2016 Table of Contents]

Nick DemskeNick Demske lives in Racine, Wisconsin, and works at the Racine Public Library.  His self-titled manuscript was selected by Joyelle McSweeney for the 2010 Fence Modern Poets Series Award and was published by Fence Books.  He also had a chapbook, “Skeetly Deetly Deet,” published by Strange Cage Press in 2012.  His second book is forthcoming from Fence in 2017.

Nick was featured in 2011 as one of fifteen emerging poets to watch for by Poets and Writers magazine. He is incredibly good looking.* He curates the BONK! performance series in Racine, which is like having Christmas every month.**

*The editors of the Woodland Pattern blog are completely objective. He wrote his own biography. 

** The editors of the Woodland Pattern blog are not objective. The BONK! performance series is amazing.


Does this fanny pack make me look fat?
No, but it makes you look like a big fucking idiot.
And, also, slightly fat, yes.                 I have no idea what a hot
Dog is made of. If you’re going to act like a brat,

I’m going to eat you like one. Why feign this as coincidence? Why don
Ate your body to science when it could feed
An entire village? I want to lick you in places that would leave
My tongue bacterial.                           Does this hard won

Prosperity make me look fat? This humor so dark you mistake
It for chocolate.
Nick Demske, you are everything wrong with the world. Which is to say: the wor
Ld. Share with me your most secret ingredients.              This megamart once was a for

Est. These teeth marks, once a kiss. Do these priorit
Ies make me look fat, these scars, these explosives beneath my sweatshirt?


haunted by the petting zoo

i added sam and alex to the listserv.
dad dropped the key to my house off at the Launch Box
the ghost of a baby goat
eats my soul
a duckling poltergeist
riddles me
with night terrors
rode my bike
past a family walking through the park and
as i passed
the dad hit one of the kids
so hard
that i heard it
and turned to look
and then did nothing else
but keep riding
God, I am writing, I see,
a lot about decisions I’m making
that I am unhappy with
i am pissing into a fountain
in a well manicured
industrial park
dear grimbol
are you coming home for christmas?
dear food,
i wish i had a lot of you to eat with me
right now
there’s three of us at Wordshop tonight
we are some glorious weirdos here
sam is literally asleep i think
from waking up at 2:15 this morning
for his box assembly job
alex has the plague
and sounds like a doberman when they coughs
i am the Willy Wonka
of poetry
the Marco Rubio
of poetry
I am haunted by a legion
of baby chicks
I got scared by a bunny on the way here
this part is actually true
the weird bunny who seems to have no fear
and shows up occasionally in our back yard
and there he was today, as I went to get my bike
so still I didn’t notice him
and it scared me
when i registered the fact
that I was not alone
but then it delighted me
that a rabbit was so close to me
and just didn’t give no effs
so i talked to it
and i thanked it for coming
and then i rode away
and then i saw a guy hit his kid upside the head
hard enough
that it made me feel conflicted
about not at least voicing my disapproval
hard enough
that if anyone did that to me
i’m just really unsure
how i would



“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.|Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”


Excised of the welkin, democracy’s monarch. Excised of the sky’s billboard, diamond rent of the Ethiope lobe. Dethroned, anthropomorphized, excised of the petting zoo—what soft texture will substitute its loss? Flensing the naughahide, the torch core exposed ever brighter. Slather soaked thus, o curl activator, how close is too close—the children, the special effects. Foreclosed amusement parks, slumber party lawsuits: yes! Some hamsters only feel safe in the maze. The stars are nothing without a black sky you know it feels real good sha’Mon! No louder applause shall your ears ever hear than when you drift backwards, openly. Bring me the legs of the white Fred Astaire. Bring me a single sequined glove upon the head of a javelin. Cryptic incantation séance: Ma Ma Say. Ma Ma Sah. Ma Ma Say. Ma Ma Sah Sah Star, fucker, tiger, brightest when darkest, the sin lies not in destroying but creating. The more loved the child, the worthier the sacrifice. God picks up a baby foot first above the chasm. Infinite cheering drowns out its cries. A man who is on fire is the sun burning to nothing, SUV flood rack, vanity mirror, dynamo refraction suchness blinds we every instance. My chemical hair. My fugitive nostrils. Starfreak of nature, you can fly, but you can never land. You can run, but you can naughahide. You can make the world better. You can go on forever. You can make the world   a better place       take a look at yourself     and make a change   a change       a change.


[April Poetry Month 2016 Table of Contents]

Woodland Pattern is nonprofit book center in the heart of Riverwest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We are dedicated to the discovery, cultivation and presentation of contemporary literature and the arts.