Poems by Tyler Raso

Fascinating shapes, accidentally

Don’t hold it against me;
I am not an erotic body.
Hold what against me: the body
of eros, passions in tears and strips
and mache. Mache me to eros,

but leave space for the making,
unmaking. Hold me, together.
Couldn’t tell you my best side.

We are merely representations of objects
in fascinating shapes, accidentally.
Ravel to unravel gently, and I may follow.


Without the knowledge of,
one manages (to steal things)—
tremulous figures, pigeon wars,
flat boy, (letters, letters)—and, similarly,
another always manages (to return them).

One gets held up in storytime—
a mess of fingers (separating),
something like sun (surrendering),
pigmy origami animals (reposing)—
though does one know the meaning of?

All our people are little trees—
toppled down, left alone—
with personalities painted on
in soot and snail trails; yet
who bought (matter) the stencils,
or why was it (a matter of stencils)?


Tiny Crane,
About those hands who made you—
If a life is a bird in the palm,
Where would the eggs go?

It’s all in the wrist.)


I have a promise in my pocket, and
you may never live to see it like
the light might see it,

make it seen. It reads

these hands but not these lips
and especially not this voice
because those fell through,

the holes in my own fabric,
my other fabrics—fell up.
Belong, again, to the sky.


Furrowed no. I touch like folding, (like falling)—
I touch, no. Not touch but fold, (fallen)—
One touches, no. Touched, unfolding, (yet falling).

Maybe we’ll recover one another
in fortune cookies.


It is the final day for metaphor and so I prescribe sea salt salves
and a diet of spider webs. These will merely prolong the metaphor of metaphor
so you should hasten to find a replacement. You consider
taxidermy and the ways you might breathe new breath to breathless things.
Erect one woodchuck. Realize its eyes lifeless as silvering buttons on your peacoat
crinkle your spine and so chuck it in the dumpster to fail to rot.
Even so it makes friends with butcher bags empty of bleeding meats and batteries
with no clout left. You’ve done a good thing but you still wash
your conscience with staling baby wipes and hit the drawing board
refreshed. Consider something less lifelike which reminds you
to write a strongly worded letter to the green apple world. You recall
the era of metaphor will soon elapse and so withhold your comments
on the pennywhistle bullies who gave you a hard time
in grade school or the paperback philosophers who
made your ideas feel small but also recall that these mortal laws
detailed nothing about simile and so practice applying like and as
as generously as discount ointment on a burn wound. You’ve made your point
and now the green apple world feels just a little less rotten inside-out
but you hesitate to say you did a good thing which brings again
the baby wipes. As you think the world is more an
engorged and paling blueberry than green or apple
you are struck with the idea to decorate your kitchen
with fruits impervious to worms to oxygen to rot and you think this is
a discretely clever way to metaphorize metaphor for the artist himself painted
the wax the very convincing yellows reds and oranges of the fact the flesh.
You think it might be endearing to arrange a whole wax fruit nativity
and so the basket the manger. The grapes the farm animals.
The orange the mother. The apple the father. The banana the shepherd
though at this point you are stuck because you struggle
with the metaphor of shepherd as Jesus as God the metaphor
of Jesus as God as etc. and any as banana and so instead you
arrange the fruits to your liking and leave it that way
knowing that tomorrow fruit will be fruit.

A body but not my body

  I have spilt
our butter
  on carpets

Chocolate is   a body
the body I aim to admire
    in the way we admire
a body    of butter
  which is to say
  in the ways it is smooth
like chocolate not spilled

  I burnt the butter and
have made the smooth melting
which        Sadly

  Do you recall a body
like butter or recall it more
like chocolate     melted not burned
in the mouth     maybe palm

    On the day the carpet I spilled
that chocolate or butter     I noticed
  the stains    of body
under the burnt of butter   nonsmooths not chocolate
which you recall
   I spilt

Let’s say I burned my body
  not butter and     it too
melts like chocolate    in palms
   or mouths
  not carpets and

though      let’s say
not the butter nor chocolate


nor burned   let’s say
I spilt

 your body