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Poetry: "The Many Men So Beautiful" & "dum spiro spero" by Cleo Madeleine

the many men so beautiful

my ten to fifty sexual partners

ghosts of orchiectomies


fairytale of new york in 2009

justifying the lie

no one on the coast sails

boats are an illusion


fantasies of grandeur

sage sails whickering

everyone here gets fingered

in the train station at dusk

we love it!

proud tradition

nobody enjoys it but you do what

you must no exceptions

everyone here writes

isn’t that enough

shitty stories

therapy on an oriental rug

smell of someone else’s dog

you feel alive(?)

once, listening to cocorosie

wish fulfilment exercise

his hands

untouched a red wine glass

(his hands,


in which the future

shreds my puny genitals

highway sign bulletholed

ebay antique

in the house we’ll never own

all the money pours away/

cakes the walls

hiding things as sign of trauma

smears, eye contact, broken books

metal detector

walls of doctor’s office blue

memorise apologise

watching porn on the family

PC late night hook up

jack off

what a thing to say and I

slimy thing alive

dum spiro spero

every single day someone has woken up next to someone felt the rise and fall of their chest

can you believe that there some people who do not believe in God or think that Donnie

Darko is not a good movie or do not like dancing

it is unsurprising that i am well liked i travel in God’s bright


there are places we can go they have abducted the petrified remains of protohumans for the

purposes of some recondite lesson about ~insides

and you would imagine this was a prelude to

romance, right?

it isn’t! there is no archive of these everyday flutterings, no map of the bogs and deserts

where every day someone slept and breathed and made protohuman love

there is only the stone tell

there are stories of certain spiders/crustaceans etc that trapped in rocks foretell doom

and i wonder if they (at least, the ones who have not yet been rendered and cracked into

petrochemical strands) are happy with what they see spanning the universe with their

infinite webs regarding all with their infinite feelers, knowing all crawling life

wakes up and breathes

if i ever meet one i will ask

this is why you give oysters to your beloved and it tastes the same as the bile in your throat as

you vomit over the curb and nobody makes it far without knowing the taste of their own


its why harming birds has always been illegal, if you can believe it

its why they try to make

you think old bones are all that lives inside all that persists

its true

you have to get out of bed in the morning

Cleo Madeleine (she/her) is a researcher, linguist, and writer. She is in the final stages of a PhD on queer time, she is one half of the trans comedy podcast pronouns in bio, and she is a passionate and inexpert dancer. You can follow her on Twitter @quidtumcicero, where she will enthusiastically join almost any project if you ask nicely, and you can listen to her podcast @pronounscast.

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