Ted Rees

Threshing Hem of Storms


There is mud there, yes, rutted mud puddled drive despite swerves, and a child glaring.

This is the way slaughter operates then, so yes, still the child wearing only underwear on a muddy red bicycle and all these fucked trailers.

One finds a grimace observing totem pole keychains, as though the glare doesn’t make obvious my complicity, still-clean windows of the rental car remain cleansed in the ridge’s rain, Dad driving.

A genre of dread is looking at a mountain, then, floes of red sprawl and this is all the soil, and exactly where are we sitting.



The occasion you used an ATM on LSD for the first time convinced you of something, yet you continued to take LSD and use ATMs.

It sure is a nice day, historic elms and oaks, the oppression of every archway as one walks around it and it will not vanish.

Sometimes there is a feeling that there is no bunker anywhere despite the bloated canned goods circulating, and then there’s Disco Steve drinking wine deep deep deep inside, deep deep down inside.

Forget bears resemblance to skin against bare mattress as the body stretches, or maybe whatever bird is singing there, the big problem where only some are punched upon waking and then in orchestration throughout the duration then da capo al fine the big problem where only some are punched upon waking and then in orchestration throughout the duration then.

And the joking grail of coda.



You don’t know spirited ’til tweakers hymning along to rock music regarding the crucifixion in a Cheyenne fleabag, highway’s hovering Blackhawk and the convoy, these eraser names’ hideous conscription.

Further towards universality, everything is always already a trap house with its singular door and particle-board windows.

It is just that we adore fooling others and by extension ourselves, the pool filled with dirt and chemicals, slung styrofoam bodega cups, all the mold in those pantries.

There is a stream-bed somewhere in the valley where white spiders must flow as if a font, there are the loaded Humvees, there is stadium faith’s tonal aporia, the coquelicot gradient then blind cerulean gradient of the steppe.



Your checkout person today was “self,” so thanks for the canned chili, tuna, and rice, self.

At a moment when your friend suffers from scorbutic gums, the obscenity of paying for food is ever more plain, lines for feeds slithering for blocks, and all these white people with toast can fuck off.

Trodding for miles up and down a mountain highway bevvied up on cardboard is a type of existence, crystals and long flowing hugs in the natural grocery store aside.

We cannot all be Bling Bling or Thomas from Grand Rapids, though we could call each other family and mumble about Felix Mitchell, or we could slumber in the woods behind the Ray’s Food Place with a mutt named Sergeant Rocko.

Depravity and stump levels seem directly proportional: off-ramp, park, crude path marred by ATVs, vivisected lot sibilations, sun hitting the summit.



The bunchgrass-obscured building slung low on mesa made virtuous the plight of wanting to be left alone, a kernel’s sedate unfolding in the temporal lobe.

Thus, sunburnt men with secret crops parked along the feeder resemble the paranoia inherent in utopic ideation, as if ‘breach’ and ‘parcel’ were not cuddle buddies.

What Tom Petty songs were made for is lost on metrocentricity, hitting cruise control and rubbing one’s eyes while bashing past burly grain bins’ unresolved silhouettes a linament, albeit one concocted upon a convenient parallax, the short line of covered hoppers chugging in for loads.

For lack of signal we wander, and then my heart with pleasure fills or whatever, brief erasure of the stammered ping inculcation trusted as scrap bridge over the wash.



There must be a religion based on living in lofts with motion-activated security lighting as there must be a pervasive unease, sight the discotheque with attached bourbon lounge of days hence.

So many hours of productivity are lost to the market for used car batteries, and maybe we should applaud that, oh simple morning profanities, an exhausted lung and stroke scents.

The end of the month mattresses have become more enticing, but only because of a wider acceptance of polyurethane, the sighs of neglected straw and wood and unplucked sentient ducks and geese fluttering.

There’s “and Life” crossed out on the Jane Jacobs tome, maybe we should applaud that and ponder what future generations of architecture students will term ‘vernacular,’ full frontal fitness juicery and spa, waxed cardboard in humid conditions.



Quilted fog in the valley makes less obsequious the remote road to peonage cluttered with boulders and gates perhaps overzealous in their multiplicity.

This is not to dismiss as docile the lifted pickups careening through the trenches, but instead to deduce that the big house is continuously the big house and to damn what charity arrives from it in a dream of blaze.

As an extension, it is still an economy, and to declaim otherwise is despotism lined with fat cash rolls sprayed with diesel, glutted on noisome delusions that also ripple through the fiberoptics of board rooms, as if a more nuanced view.

The mirror does not falter, as made explicit by the burgeoning parking lots of budget hotels, getting lit as fuck drinking the sick-hued hot tub water mixed with bourbon, the dumb strumming ricocheting deep towards dawn.

Bald eagles’ calls are not the long and splendid tones throated by red-tailed hawks, but pukey coughs evincing harsh malaise amidst the slack logic of perpetual soaring.



Always the open boxcar on the siding, then water tower, then shoots from the spring, then thinning timber, then ungracious maze of manzanita and treeline.

Where depression is now was once a bracing soak, begin a shuttling of vision northwards to the electrified cyclone guarding the processing plant that flings its wares into every watery convenience, westbound caught but lasting interminable.

I’ll be there spiritually, I’ll be there in a smalltown bowling alley robust, I’ll be there bleak paths, I’ll be there as the connective white mat striating in hush beneath ponderosan floor.

The scintillating fact of decomposition reminds us as our eyes inspect this fur, this feces balled with fur, this oxidized paint bucket sunk, this notion that there is no limit to depth of refuse, the blankness in prefiguring what will be antiquities if a thing.



Sitting on a crate aside spigot behind the dull liquor store is a hustle, a marquee of luxe squalor to the Friday night crowd tossing singles and cool cans then shrinking back to their tracts.

What is being proposed is that sympathies dwell in a ribboned imaginal of abandon, the corporeal embodiment of which tugs stupidly a la “Little Pink Houses” or similar canon, a fodder for soggy fantasies slathered on old glory duvets.

Similarly, lead paint flakes off a truss bridge into the swimming hole.

We come to rest in some bushes, in this war, in somber but kinetic displacement, in a piss-cluttered bando, in a rest stop washroom, in a deadfall trap that is the surround, this maw that froths with unadorned bigotry and plain surveillance.



A modicum of comfort arrives from this fresh dead road ending in a field of mullein, just as that same comfort is frothed meandering carports of decomposing subdivisions, sweet balm ground with exhaust particulates, skin scraped on disused sidewalks.

I’m the man on the silver mountain, but really I’m the man driving a Subaru with the mountain in all my mirrors, skating off the interstate to slumber in river fog, a specimen of funereal roar.

All the discount bins brim with guns, bald eagles, and all-caps intimidators, sugar puke of fresh-baked cookies wafting through to the showers at full capacity.

The refuse rests unaltered as there is ever grey and ever feasting, trucker urine turning in the day, tread whipping’s slithering in rifled streetlight, a darker heaving over that dark moving you as an animal, fresh tracks hover the cabin’s morning door.



The future of logistics is in dayglo nests tangled and hidden under roots, torn vest threads secreted away to a rave at the hibernation locale, radio hiss of backwoods hootenanny.

If you build a fire they’re gonna find you eventually, fleece throws ragged with butterfly patterns emanate from the windows of the hoopty Explorer a bit off-path, fresh trash scattering pavement argument, and there’s the unspoken complication of the term “drug-induced” in this matrix, ever etcetera.

Memory of reading eruptive then, fog enhancement slipping in and out of its stockings and looking like some plus sublimation or faulty curtain, wanting to squat Berssenbrugge and Tuttle’s land and host clandestine jug wine parties in their guest quarters.

“Aaaah” exhale, ongoing recovery of broken, recuperative prowess strung up and down the elevations, sandy evenings forecast, a shit vibe because of the mimetics of grey light so euthanized in song.



Choosing violences is not cedar’s shade against beaten fence, nor is it the unique crunch of auto glass trotting backstreets, but it is of necessity, and thus explains constancy of dropout ideation, the butchery of our lovely moments in sun or snow.

Burrows proliferate as RVs are splatted to fall to weather, we could take the galleries and fill them with shotgun shells and rusted cans of Falstaff, “blurring distinctions of use and condition” whisper the reviews.

The drippings are caught by stacks of old industry lad rags and threadbare cotton rips from one white poplar to another, what sombre flattery of the buttes.

An uncontrollable toboggan is kissing cousin to most relational outputs, screaming timber roads ’round midnight, ineffable thought harbor with massive slip wreckage as unfortunate psychological inevitability.

Horrible boundaries correlate to the horror of boundary, that ponder and the threshing hem of storms and the west.

Ted Rees

Ted Rees’ recent work has appeared in Asphodel, The Drunken Boat blog, Elderly, and Armed Cell, with work forthcoming in Tripwire and ON Contemporary Practice’s monograph on New Narrative. Chapbooks include The New Anchorage (Mondo Bummer, 2014) and Outlaws Drift in Every Vehicle of Thought (Trafficker Press, 2013).