Dennis Gulling: Teeth White as Bone

Dennis Gulling is a small press veteran who edited Crawlspace from 1980-1989, read with Outlaw Poetry founder Todd Moore on their “World Tour,” and is so elusive he could be standing next to you right now and you wouldn’t even know it.


Miller kept pulling the trigger
Even after all the
Bullets were gone
Chesney lay face up
On the floor
In front of the bar
With blood blossoms
All over his shirt
Everybody else
Was crowded up against the walls
Not saying a word
And the only sound
In the room
Was the trigger going


She works
In a butcher shop
Because she likes
The smell of meat
On her hands
Makes her feel animal
Suckers her fingers
In bed at night
To draw blood
From her dreams


Your memory
Is scorched earth
Inside me
If I prayed
For rain now
Would I feel
Your sweat
Against my skin?


I carry
Your shadow
Inside me
And sleep
In its darkness
To keep me warm


Drunk at midnight
Spade Jackson presses
His back against the ice machine
Outside West Street Minit Mart
Mouth harp
Invisible in his huge right hand
Head bobs and pivots to
Hellhound On My Trail
Left sleeve of his shirt
Hangs loose
Since losing his arm
Under a freight 10 years ago
Stiff breeze catches it
And whips it around
He plays faster and faster
Trying to catch the rhythm
Of the dance it’s doing in the wind
His eyes bug out
Sweat beads on his forerhead
He shuffles his feet
In a useless dance
As red light
Off Minit Mart neon
Gives him the devil’s face


She made her way
Through the woods
Still clutching
A handful of his hair
Made her way
Down to the riverside
Knelt on the shore
And washed his blood
Off her hands
Took the knife
From her back pocket
And threw it in the water
Trembling a little
As it sank below the surface
Listened awhile to the wind
Rustling in the trees
Then walked back
To the cabin
As the sun went down
He was gone
And she counted the red drops
From the front door
To the place where he’d
Parked his car
He finally had her answer
To that question
She knew
He’d never ask again

What are you looking for?