Wednesday 5 May 2021

2 Poems by Rikki Santer

 Conversing With Gods

                    after Jericho Brown

Pit perception against cognition.

Keep your ears out for the invisible voice.


            Keep your ears out to the invisible voice.

            Spectral whistling may get you closer.


Spectral whistling will ease you closer.

Talking Bibles with velour tongues.


            Talking Bibles with felted tongues.

            Gospel ventriloquists fortify the Script.


Gospel ventriloquists seduce the Script.

Ancestor belly prophets made anything talk.


            Ancestor belly prophets coaxed everything to talk.

            Testament in statues, streams, perky vulvas.


Testimony in statues, streams, perky vulvas.

Against cognition, pit eavesdropping & perception.


Experimental Ventriloquism

Suppose before you throw your voice

angels salt your punchlines

then you should grease all audience

pretense with fresh / creamery / butter.


Jackson Pollack’s on your knee with

a maelstrom of confetti expletives so

warn your audience calmly

to adjust their raincoats.


Throw your dummy into the crowd

& if it comes up snake eyes

crawl into your top hat & cower

until Duchamp taxis you uptown

for absinthe & bento boxes.


Smoke more cigarettes than the stage

manager then stuff your clove butts

into his shoe lifts for an extra high.


Hail deadpan as your dummy’s religion

amen to whatevers & I dunnos from

potato heads / soup cans / minimalist

pizzas with newspaper clippings.


Suppose you guzzle on stage seven

energy drinks then you should hurl

to the footlights your lantern jaw

as a viable contour to finale.      


Rikki Santer’s poetry has received many honors including five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.   Her next, full-length collection, How to Board a Moving Ship, is forthcoming from Lily Poetry Review Books. Please contact her through her website:

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