Weird Love: Two Poems by Julia Shipley

Slug Poem                                                     

                                                      (after Elizabeth Spires)


I want to say                how I feel about          you

animated booger,                     kin of phlegm  ingesting your

destination as you arrive          “stomach foot”                        reminding me of

Frost’s instructions:

“Like a piece of ice on a hot stove,

the poem should ride on its own melting,”                  you stick, and then slide.        

My curiosity adheres like a wood shaving

takes to gluey oatmeal:                        Do you feel a pull and follow

or do you re-route based on data you interpret with appetite—

your momentum, “eat and run” become“dissolve and glide”?           Let me exalt    

not the grooves of your golden rubber body but your

telescopic eye—venturing away from your face,         extending like a horse’s penis

but focused to collect, like a microphone boom.    Oh, you soundless

accordion, rolling slowly along on your melody of slime,        parade float for protuberant

eyes, vying,      little space shuttles hurrying to their outermost post—

can you swivel at your horn-tipped limit

                                                                        gaze back at your basking self?           



New lily oozes a bead at the tip
of its magnificent pistil, tool and lubricant
so like the most reliable part of you—
alert, slight drool—should we unzip,  

hook our fingers, expand
the elastic and ask it for a verdict:
What can come of one true thing
between two people we don’t trust
or understand?  

Ensconced like a grotto-ed Madonna
whose pure tear fills, yet refuses to fall,
your lily weeps, a sticky grief, a booty call—
bless this faithful, vigilant reminder.
Bless the bulb beneath it all.



Julia Shipley lives and writes in the Deep North (Vermont) on a dirt road in a town of 1000. She is the author a debut collection entitled, The Academy of Hay, winner of the 2014 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her writing has also appeared in CutBank, Green Mountains Review, FIELD, Orion, Poetry, North American Review and Verse Daily.