Aaron Tremper

Aaron Tremper is currently a student at SUNY New Paltz where he is working towards degrees in English and Creative Writing.


Three Poems (September 2012. Issue 38.)

The Shoes We Wear
For A.Y.H.

Your skin is the color newly weds paint their bedroom walls.
It's how women know which corners of
the bar future husbands lurk in.
But I am not a woman
--and this has made all the difference.

"You see, marriage," you said
"Is like a nicely tied pair of Steve Maddens.
Start picking at the laces with your pride
parades and domestic partnerships, and you're
only bound to slip, stumble and fall."

"Okay," I said, as self-conscious as a naked ring-finger,
"in that case, what's the whole point
of wearing shoes?"

"Husbands, wives, shoes --we all wear them
for the same reasons. So we don't have to walk
around barefoot and alone on this Earth . . .
Plus, you gotta look good in something, right?"

Now, I can't help but find this strange
when I think about how you swapped philosophy
like kisses with the hippies whose bare feet
always embraced the grass with open toes.

How is it now that you call
Earth by all the middle names she hates:
"Corrupted", "Dying", "Ancient".
Every woman hates to be called that, right?

Speaking of women, did you know
that the Earth likes girls?
Every night, when the Sun struts out
over the horizon, thinking he's hot shit
the Moon comes in through the backdoor

She unzips the Earth's ocean
and eases down her blue jeans like
the Sun never could.

Haven't you ever wondered
what causes the tides?
Well, I have and it's proven you don't need a ring
like Saturn to be a good mother.

But I digress
This is about you and I.

I didn't want to marry you.
What? So I can wear you like a brand new pair
of Nike's made in the sweat shop of the first time we fucked?
Yeah, we were drenched, weren't we?

But even then, I wouldn't come up to your apartment
cause I knew. . .

I'd just find your walls whitewashed and peeling.
Paint chips falling into the hair
of the girl you wear
like a pair
of Gucci boots lying their
on your floor.

You know what?
I'll take you up on that offer.
I'll go up those stairs.
Expect me tomorrow at 7,
just as the Moon is opening the sky's screen door
I'll be barefoot with paintbrush in hand.
You'll watch me paint your walls
the color they're supposed to be.
The color of me.

If I Feel In NYC

If I feel like talking in NYC,
I'll unplug the phone jack from the wall.
If someone wants to talk, they'll have to
muddy up my welcome mat with their boots
and say "hello" in American Sign Language.
Sending a video instead would be cheating.

If I feel like giving in NYC,
I'll flush my teenage diaries down the toilet.
Sewer gators need some good literature to read
and the usual shit that goes down sewage pipes
doesn't quite do it.

If I feel insecure in NYC,
I'll wear my coat pockets inside out.
Shake loose each rusty penny and lint cloud onto
5th Ave. pavement. Consider it the worst I have to offer.

If I feel like dating in NYC,
I'll pay the local bum with all that pocket change.
Hobos'll do anything for vodka money
and it's better to see someone's dirt
upfront in their fingernails
rather than later in the filth of
unanswered calls and stale
"I Love You"'s that leave crumbs on the lips.

If I feel love in NYC,
I will most likely first learn about it
in New York Times headlines. Or, perhaps
I'll sit down to watch Fox 5 and watch how
the cameras caught my smile fall harder
than Wall Street profits when he grinned
at both of her Broadway billboard

If I feel in NYC,
It is how I am the the hundreds of dollars
worth of change dropped unnoticed on Manhattan
pavement every single day.

Beach Boy

The last time I saw you,
I mistook you for Dennis Wilson
feeling the good vibrations of a surfboard
bobbing in sea foam.
Afar from shore,
you harmonized with a flock of sea gulls
that pecked at your hair,
mistaking it for banana peels.

You were laughing
at the squirming samba of jellyfish
when the rip tide grabbed your ankle.
I waited until your head dove
completely under the waves before
shouting for the lifeguard.
He never found you.

The Legendary