The Collapsar publishes new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction every other month, and new culture writing weekly.

Three Poems by Patrick Williams

Photo Credit: Agkistrodon Piscivorus .




Always open files of this type. If you’re lucky, it’ll glitch out six facsimiles, each one addressed to you. Given time, they’ll arrive loose by post, assuming minimal packet loss.

I will continue to blame my parents for these frequent namespace errors. Most families' cupboards are bare. Mrs. Kim explains how it changed her: Y’all, she said one night at the Blue & Gold, I totally just dropped my phone in the toilet. Reply all, in unison, again? 

It is a massive inconvenience to allow engineers to touch what they contrive. It is also too expensive to hire those who have driven cars to build them. Heavy mathematics in the air are to blame. All of our favorite jokes are based on someone’s offensive wifi ID.

Picture a miniature railroad set. Its toy machines are churning, little lights blinking, but all the tiny people are deadly still. There is no need to assume a new tableau. You should see the brilliant meanings today’s teens encode in something dull like that. Bobby’s chat status is always PAINT. I made a note to remember that one.





My left shoe’s somewhere else, back where I caught cuts off iron-brown reeds, took some risks bellydown in pisswarm muck, groping for shells out of boredom, to skip the NASCAR. On the trampoline, with butter knives, we chipped inexpertly. With work, even true stubborns opened up. Doused palms in Texas Pete before each dicey slurp. Then back to drop another batch of room-temp turkeynecks off an absent neighbor’s dock. Under a bed sheet for sunscreen, relying on pure feel. Toward dusk, back out at camp, we dined on buried beans and got completely inarticulate. Weird how it all surfaces so often, in waves of inopinate guilt and vigor.





A famous artist I met via Craigslist took something off me second-hand and destroyed it in Lyon at the end of “My Generation.”  A museum piece for the ages. If you want proof, there’s a Youtube. We got coffee and broke a twenty in a shop a block away, just about where the tailfin fell on halftone sixties snow. Evidence is everywhere, though the giant jigsaw he’d done of that morning’s Times lead shot was too high-contrast, too inky and blocky to make the landmarks. But you clearly see a stark italic UNIT in the photo from the eighteenth, the one up Sterling. Nearby: another callously legible fragment of crumpled fuselage, NITE this time, no D. The next smoldering scene reveals Pillar of Fire above some cops and firemen who move a heavy stretcher from the church’s shell. In the nineties, a sculptor snipped off the remnants of its wrought iron fence to cover his windows at 109. They keep everything out, he told City Desk this morning. They fit perfectly.




Patrick Williams lives and writes in Syracuse, New York, where he works as an academic librarian. His poems have appeared in publications including The Metric, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, M58, Sliver of Stone, and others. He is the editor of Really System, a journal of poetry and extensible poetics.

Two Poems by Ray Nayler

Three Poems by Holly Painter