Richard Wehrenberg Jr. is a part of Monster House Press, you can find his work and others here.


Sitting By A Lake Reading A Course in Miracles 

i sexually objectify myself
upon seeing my penis
poking out through
used army shorts
what else are bodies
if not razed sacred places
keeping precious commodity
to be blown open & through
a pipeline tearing up
centuries old corpses
mine hardly mined
barricaded for apocalypse
i protect me like wine glasses
you’ve never used
except maybe to wet
a tender finger
& with circles
make sing

in this form
i tell you
tattoos corroborate
a type of self-reclamation
pulling back into your own god
linked to ego we are
addicted to an idea of
i you me them they us we
& they keep not holding
faltering & precarious
apart from source
we love we
we must’ve become this
we had to who we are
the wind is ghosts
of ourselves
swooping in to say hi
how are you doing
in this life?
i hope well you deserve it

Qatar Poem

rode on a party boat last night on the persian gulf
party boat not like drinking-partying
because there’s no drinking here
party boat like flashing lights and celine dion songs
looking out the window from this 25th floor skyscraper
lights are blinking in what seems like a calming pattern
i think aliens are with us always and here to help
four men in thobes turnt up dancing on a party boat
with each other inspired me to be more expressive
of joy on the beach today a child kept trying to run
into the sea i wondered if he was a water sign
the leader of the country had a parade planned
but cancelled it and donated the money to syria
i have nutritional yeast crumbs on my pants and
2 million ppl live here if you drive for 30 minutes
north south or west it is desert east is water
shit’s systemic & cyclical back home
in america hot trauma orgy
is a pop song i just wrote
while driving 120 kmph on the cornische
love comes to those who believe it
and that’s the way it is

One of those times without time—Tom Petty
and a highway, a used van and you driving—
you, who know my mind’s dialect, its texture
and backroads, coasting us beyond our city’s
corporation limit. I could be any age. You could
be any number of people. And I forget until I look.
If you’re my mother or brother or friend. Until I hear
you sing—soft trill of your alto descending from
high to low and back again. Maybe your hair is longer
or you’ve been thinking about seeing someone new
or there’s a fresh crease on your cheek just left of
your dimple—the accumulation of indefinite amounts
of laughter—time passing, pausing to leave its mark.
Your laugh a gathering of goose honks. Your eyes
moon craters collecting life like motel pools. I stare
into you hoping to preserve you as if for winter.

Before you picked me up I tried to imagine you
a year earlier when we were a year less filled
with whatever has filled us now. We cooked
lentils and kale, watched punk bands play out
of tune guitars while people drank beer
in our basement. At a music store, now, you lift
guitar picks while I play a pop song on a keyboard.
We walk out together, arms linked like fences, fresh
rain punctuating the parking lot, get into the van
for another ride home in which we’ll sing
someone else’s song, pretending it’s ours
holding it dearly, if only for the moment.




I knew when you appeared
for the first time in my life I would
understand you as I understood water—
in multiplicities, intimately—from river,
from tap, filtered through city plant, hidden
in fruit mass, drawn up from wells, tailored
into plastic and shipped across long distance.
I would have to understand you for the rest
of my life, again and again—through traffic
signals and weather forecasts, on our backs
in the cornfields of the Midwest, through jobs
and houses and pets, in waking, in rest, in
the front seats of cars in towns we just met.
I would not say much. I would watch us grow
old as an oak might. Right next to you, or in the
distance, waving. Out of one forest we go back
into another. I would drink you and you me
and the clouds would hold us two all the way
up there and back down, down as rain, known
like snow. You would go through me and come
back in infinite routes, in varieties of incarnation.
I would be standing before a river and think you.


My father put it plainly in a thirty nine year old mustache—

people’s needs change and necessarily they move on
want for something else

We were where we’ve always been—
frozen in losses so large
they may as well be
indistinguishable from the rest

In Ohio with the corn
and the lake and the snow,
the three dialects, four decades between us,
distending and demarcating the heart
and its established routes

Say you wake
one day knowing
the rains
have come
with their
grey / grey / grey

They may very well
have done that

No one is culpable

Could I at least say

I’d like to keep one thing