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Strange Gathering [2] 




We all need & we all loiter. Man, 

I miss being on a train. The time’s different 

on trains & we’re better. It’s weird 

when we can tell that 

we’re moving, not like on planes. Up in Maine, 

all those loons. I love 


a good birdcall in the morning. Herons, et cetera 

& something about waking up w/ a woman 

or person of indeterminate gender 

standing over you w/ a cup 

of coffee in a blue button-down 

& nothing 


else. Material things: they matter 

& they don’t. The hornet, the honey, 

dusk & drunk, or 

not. How 

are you feeling? Your buttons 

look loose.

after John Berryman

Strange Gathering [8 & 9] 



The weather’s fine, thanks 

for asking. We don’t ask that often 

enough anymore & I love your green 

hair. There’s nothing to see 

around here, is what they’d like you to think. But 

we know about windows open & 


sheets sticking to skin. Contrapposto, rococo 

et cetera, YOU. Standing in the doorway & 

it’s like a tornado in here. You’re about 

to be blown. They call it 

the high wood 

& we know what that’s about


in the morning. We’re at a standstill—

too hot to get dressed & too hot 

when we’re naked. Stuck 

in our own crocheted 

web, all strung up 

& spidery. 

after John Berryman


Tyler Friend was grown—and still is growing—in Tennessee. Tyler is extremely uncomfortable generally, but perhaps a bit too comfortable with kudzu specifically. They are the author of Him or Her or Whatever (Alternating Current Press, 2022).

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