Nic Alea

Nic Alea is a Bay Area based queer poet and educator. Nic co-hosts San Francisco open mic, the New Shit Show, which focuses on the production of new work. Nic’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Word Riot, kill author, Rattle, & Muzzle Magazine. Nic is a 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow and a semi finalist in Button Poetry’s chapbook competition for their manuscript, Sad Boy Slumber Party. Nic is a 2014 MFA candidate at California College of the Arts writing program.


Three Poems (May, 2014. Issue 43.)

The Dogs Come in Threes

We find the dog on a Saturday,
the belly is slit open and a melon falls out,
you tell me that besides the flies, you’d like to let
the meat of the fruit sink into your gums.

We climb up Grizzly Peak on our knees,
your cum is crusting on my good hand,
the melon keeps slipping out of my arms,
but you say, Just a bit further and we can split
this thing open like it were our own bodies or the dog,
at least the dog is resting quiet, at least now I know
what it’s like to be wet from you.

They say if you eat sunflower seeds whole
then a flower will start to bloom in your belly,
that the skin around your middle will panic
and the petals will glow inside out,
I have never wanted the imprint of something beautiful,
much less a flower giving itself to me,

when you tell me the melon looks good on my lips,
that now when you see a dog you will
think of our fuck, now when i see wild
sunflowers, I try to eat the whole field.

Sharp Things

It's going to rain soon,
the rain is coming now,
I keep telling everyone i know
that the storm is coming
that I can feel it in my scars,
they ache like a ships hull,
like wood that cracks and
the marrow is all warped.
I lost my fingerprints in the
echo of the valley, I called myself
to come home, I did not answer,
I found my mouth full of wheat
and sawdust, spitting at the sun
as if it would come to me, the first
time was by mistake, I only found
the handle of the knife because
that is where I stood when I awoke,
I am not a magnet to these things,
but somehow they always find me,

Once, in the rain in Southern California
the swimming pool was overflowing with
dead leaves, all veined and waterlogged,
my mother tilted her head up to the sky,
she let the blood fall from her nose
as I frantically searched for my father,
her face broken like a bolt of lightning,
how quickly she grew into the absence of human,
how her crisis has become my default,
how I could not tell the difference between
the rain and her own salt, how she cried
out for my father, how she cried out for a father
to take her, to fuck this shit, to surrender.

It is weird to belong to your body,
but to not recognize yourself,
to wonder what it is you want,
to stay or empty beyond yourself,
when relapse tastes like taffy in my mouth
the thing that slides into the pockets of my gums,
how the sharp thing found me again,
how it called slowly, the ways I licked my lips,
when my own voice sounded like moths circling the bulb,
begging to clean the static out of my legs
the boots began to grow heavy with wet,

I recognize, I must tell you, the ways
I have taken after my mother,
the ways I know I have become her,
my head tilted towards the clouds,
hips raw like the aftermath of falling into a rose bush.

The story starts with lonely, starts with
with my knees buckled on an Oakland bound train,
my mother, miles away, her head tilted,
me in the bathroom mirror,
the stripping of fabric,
my closed fists around the scissors
wishing all the plumbing in
this apartment would come bursting at me,
my skin bursting at me, the sky does nothing
but hold the tension of my grip,
my hands kissing the scissor dull.

The story ends with the upper thigh,
the shallow breath,
the sky doesn’t crack, not even once,
my hand sliding the scissors back
into the drawer, my mother’s voice,
my head tilted trying to find the rain.


That summer, the girl from the neighborhood
put me in the closet with her younger brother.

There have always been closets
and there have always been men,
or boys or people that have taunted the sweat from my brow.

She let the pet rats loose and slammed the door shut.
The game was to touch what was mine, but to make it his.

The rats crawled around on the floor,
their whiskers sniffing in the dark against my leg hairs,
soft before I had become a grown body.

That was the same summer that the boys lit the cliff on fire.
They had built a hut out of tree branches
and cloth from their mother’s linen closets.

They huddled around the Playboy’s,
clenching their jaws at the sight of tits and sheen,
I imagine they grunted and grabbed at their dicks.

The one boy dropped the match
and the cliff went wailing into flames.
They all became flaccid, I’m sure.

The Playboy’s all pissed on to put the fire out,
the women on the magazine covers soaking
from the rain of the emergency.

I have met many boys like this,
one’s who will piss on a woman
just to wipe out the heat of her grip.

The Legendary