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Alex Manley

20 Jun Alex Manley

The 2016 Metatron
Prize Shortlist

 

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BAD REPUTATION

 

No snares in the drums. So alone in so much of me.
I’m not in love with you, or anyone. I’m in love with

tension. Do you know how this thing is played? You’re
living in the past. I’ve entered the second phase of

construction on your broken heart. Can you see the
difference? Day by day it gets worse. All this talk of

phases. My brain is a body going through heat failure.
Thoughts shorting out like organs shutting down, until

all that’s left is a corner backing in on itself. No, no, no,
not me. I think about her because she looks like you,

that’s transference, and she helps me forget about you,
and in a few weeks someone else will help me forget about

her. My brain is a daisy chain. My brain is a broken piece
of machinery that was once meant to strike something

now flailing rhythmically through the air, never in danger
of contact. My brain is a heart with ADHD, a knife in a

toaster, a toaster in the bath. My brain is the word “mouth
feel” in pink all caps Gotham bold superimposed on a giant

picture of a tongue. My brain is a Tinder match with a girl
I met in a bar last year, who likes my Instagram pictures

sometimes, who looks just like you, only her hair is curlier.
Can you see? So why should I care about a bad reputation?

Just phase it out. Somehow you stole that song from me,
just because we watched it once together on YouTube on

your couch. This is how I keep time, watching the hours
since you were last on Facebook grow. I mean come on.
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*This poem also appeared in the wonderful Powder Keg Magazine
& was republished here with permission.

 


 

Alex Manley still lives in Montreal, the city he was born in. He graduated from a university Creative Writing program a few years ago. His work has been published online and in print by certain publications. He won an award once. He is left-handed.

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