Poetry and Prose by Wess Mongo Jolley
Sample Poem From “The White Porcelain Well”:
Perhaps it is the bull that gets the last laugh after all.
After a life being poked and prodded, after a finale
flayed and filleted, it is his leftover skin that turns us, his
tormentors, into the draft animals.
Perhaps it is with both disgust and amusement that
the bull sees the biproducts of his carcass used to
fashion these straps, these harnesses, these whips,
these gags, these paddles.
Perhaps his hard death has tempered his memories enough
for him to be amused by the boys with the leather collars
and cock rings, the boys trussed up with familiar shiny gear,
and suspended in their stalls by cowhide and steel.
Slaughterhouses and bathhouses are both kept dark
to keep the inmates calm, while they are poked and
prodded, while we enact these, the savage rituals
of our carnal desires.
In this crowded sex shop I touch the slings, the straps, the
restraints, all black and accentuated with chrome, and I
feel that hunger for flesh growing more insistent—
forbidden lusts from darkest corners of my desire.
I want to be disgusted, and I am.
I want to be appalled, and I am.
I want to be better than this and I am.
I want to see you suspended before me, chains tinkling,
leather gleaming with spilled lube and semen.
I know better than to ask the bull’s forgiveness.
(First published in Danse Macabre, 2017)
Sample Poem From “Smolder & Spark”:
“The front section is the realm of the dead, symbolized by inert materials – polished black granite and concrete. The back section represents the living.”
—Parc de l’espoir – AIDS Memorial Park, Montreal.
I’ve lost those cubes of half remembered dead—
not even half I’ve forgotten them completely
In favor of the mullet-headed sandal-toed lover
who picks his teeth in the coffee shop
In favor of proud meat market hookups
who won’t bother to feign interest or surprise
In favor of coffee so black and strong
old memories are strangled into myth
In favor of shared glances gelled Mohawks veined throbbing house
music pounding our spines until our hearts skip a beat in unison
In favor of a street filled with desperately handsome men I cannot
see through the haze of a new love’s breath on my eyelids
In favor of dying happy because of
last night and last night and last night
When spasms of ecstasy ended with
my tears spread across both his calves
(First published in the November 3rd Club, 2010)
More coming soon!
As Featured in Evening Street Review:
Taste of Spring in an Early Winter Chill
As Featured in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change:
My last night in America I dreamed I was lost
(Forthcoming, February, 2023)
As Featured in Pink Disco:
Smolder & Spark
(Forthcoming, early 2023)
As Featured in the Write Bloody Press book “The Good Things About America,” edited by Derrick Brown and Kevin Staniec:
As Featured in the book “I’ll Be You When You Get There,” edited by Scott Woods:
20 Pieces of Advice, Sent to my Young Self, to be Opened June 15, 1978
* No longer available in the digital journal where originally published.
“Manhattan’s Arms” performed live at the Bowery Poetry Club, as part of the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Podcast Showcase and Party, October 9, 2009. Introduced by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz.
“Emily’s Legacy,” As heard on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel. Hosted by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. February 2, 2009. Music by Ivan Chew.