Body In The Nest

That which can be used to kill

can be used to dig.

A triangle head

and two jet black eyes

are burrowing.


Six inches of slender.

It wraps its spine

and snaps its jaws.

It is always ready

to defend solitude with violence.


In winter there is metamorphose.

The white creeps from the stomach.

Soon the entire body is white.

Soon nothing is seen.

The weasel in its body.



A Ring Beneath

Before it was buried,

before the lawsuit

claiming doomsday,

before the acceleration,

wars happened above.


The bodies fill it.

Particles flung through bullet holes.

The armies march

ever quicker

in opposing directions.


New desires raise new impact.

The enemy is always there

but he’s always changing clothes.

Nemesis must be met.

There are recordable results.


Small animals live above

hunting and hiding.

Digging into time.

Their bones vibrate.

Their teeth are war.




I negate the day.

Cut myself out of the world

and do the work of defining that

which is this removed portion.


To speak of invasive species-

brought across climates

by accident or as gift

to remind a loved one of home.

Nothing in the new environment

recognizes this plant.

The ivy engulfs a hill.

It only takes one creeping vine.


Phenotypic plasticity-

the ability of a living thing

to change its physical attributes

to become better suited.

Some plants may grow a deeper tap root

to suck more nutrients

or some unfurl broader leaves

to consume more sun.


An enlarging self.

Creeping positive displacing negative.


Predatory plants-

birds drop the strangler fig

seeds on top of canopy.

Growth begins at the branch level,

roots growing down.

Often killing the host.

Leaving a hollow tree,

pure exterior.



Dusty descends the dodo

from the grips of extinction

to stand as the moments double symbol-

dead and dumb.


See the large land dove,

thick beaked no natural predators.

Ill suited to anywhere but its isolated island.

Comes man

with an onslaught of

dogs, pigs, cats.

The nests that litter the ground

easy prey for a prodding tusk.


So easy for people to hunt,

though they tasted terrible.


Within 100 years of their brush with western men

the last dumb dodo dies.


This pain-

the expulsion of everything that is not self.

I creep out into my negative.


A diminishing me allows

the world its perfection.

Only my eye

and words

tell me otherwise.


I want to live in the world of my negatives.

Push the inside out.

The bone to hold the skin safe.


I want to eradicate these borders.

This flesh of location.

When the empty space part in an atom in my hand

touches another atom’s empty space.

What is touching the limits?


What identity isn’t violence?

A ripping away from all that is not it.

What is this false unity that holds me whole?

Who could be singular in this flow of energy and time?

Jeremy Springsteed is a barista living in Seattle. He was one of the founders of the Breadline Performance Series and is one of the organizers of the Chain Letter Performance Series. His work has been published in Rue Scribe, Mantis, Make It True- Poetry From Cascadia, The Paragon Press, Pidgeonholes and Pageboy.

Follow him on Twitter @breadlinepoetry

November 1, 2018

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