M’s Publications and Poetry


“Asteraceae Silybum marianum” and “Porcelain Skin” in COMP: an interdisciplinary journal https://www.compajournal.com/m-lenoir-bond-2-poems 2020  

Rorschach: I See a Blood Nest” in the Best New Poets 2019 Anthology 

“Toward the Bells of Post Sainthood” in Belletrist 2018 issue.

“I Beheaded My Beloved” and “Belly Lint” in Phantom Drift, fall 2016 issue.

“Chamomile” in Rust+Moth, spring 2016 issue https://rustandmoth.com/work/chamomile/

MUSE/Johns Hopkins: “Stings” and “Claddaugh Dance (Don’t ****ing Call Me Ginger)” and part of Red Night Desert District”: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/597523, spring 2016.

“Michael, please” and “Stings” and “Claddaugh Dance (Don’t ****ing Call Me Ginger)” and “Collectors” and “Red Night Desert District” in Prairie Schooner literary journal, fall 2015 issue.

“Scrumpy Cider Purple Heart Sanctuary” and “Villain Villanelle” in december Magazine, fall 2015 issue.

“No More Mini Clown Car Parades” in Silk Road: A Literary Crossroads journal, Number 12, Spring 2014


Michael, Please

Sometimes I make origami:

butterflies, hearts, and swans

multi-colored, double-sided slices

of everything I am trying so hard

to forget

I imagine 300 Monarchs hanging from the cypress—

like they way Michael clung to me,

slow dancing in a smoky bar

Michael please don’t stand

between me and those who are still living

Be at the end of a bridge, lighting candles patiently

dressed in silver

But please don’t mind if I am not alone now, because

I don’t want to be, anymore

Be sitting on a lotus flower, calm,

so that I can stop

camping-out at phone booths

in cities I travel

calling your uncle—the one who took you

in the black, windowless van on some weekends—

so I can stop winding up your baby toy,

that fading yellow music box,

and playing it into the phone

just so he knows fear, wonders if

someone else knows

what he did to you, clutching that plastic song

you carried everywhere. It sings

“My name is Michael, I got a nickel,

I’m gonna buy me some candy…”

Let me see your beautiful face not 

Ophelia-blue, not spread-out on cement

but dancing, singing in Spanish

flipping a coin

calling heads, calling tails,

calling forth a tiny 

world you created 

Not calling out

for me, anymore—

By M Lenoir Bond.  ⓒ 2015 M Lenoir Bond

Michael, please” originally appeared in Prairie Schooner literary journal, fall 2015 issue.


Two pounds of loose, dried 

flowers, I stick my whole face

in the center of the bag the way

the sun pokes its head into the sky.

The sharp edges of scent 

travel through my body,

resting somewhere in my spine. 

I begin to soften, memories of

tea with honey, lemon drops 

cracking open in my mouth. 

Petals like dried white wings

cradling a small yellow globe,

sunshine and earth sink to swim,

head full of nectar and senses

so full that my thoughts escape me,

and I’m grateful just to breathe

the royal work of bees. An obvious apple 

perfume, childhood years in the orchard.

Fields of these 

tiny, bright daisies.

Their generous calming gift

lullaby me away from the burden 

of my heavy human machine.

By M Lenoir Bond.  ⓒ 2016 M Lenoir Bond

“Chamomile” originally appeared in Rust & Moth 2016 issue https://rustandmoth.com/work/chamomile/

Rorschach: I See a Blood Nest

A hose had dispersed your blood

with colossal gusts of water that left

your insides a Rorschach-like 

pattern on the ground far below the ledge. 

It had been three days, so the red

had turned more brown, slowly baking 

on the cement in the hot Sacramento sun.

Your life reduced to a game we played as children,

more like a godly art-kit. Twirl-o-paint, Magic Spin

Art, Fantastic Spinner. A lever spun a square 

of paper (lives) and paint (love) was poured into the middle. 

I found an odd coin with mystical symbols 

near the remains. I’m not sure if it was yours 

but if it wasn’t it’s all the more strange. My thumb flipped

the warm metal and it landed just like you, heads. It’s dark—

to mention that—I know. It’s also unavoidable, carrying this 

image along with the coin and a heavy leaf I collected there,

just like every other of life’s weighty, sticky sorrows. I was given 

the rings from your fingers and a copy of the note, 

largely written to me, and then to some of your family, 

a couple of friends, and a public To All Whom…address. 

It was 3 months after Kurt’s greenhouse death. The two 

are forever tied in my mind. I was spared identifying 

your body. But many miracles are the nightmares 

of others. And so it goes, a different Kurt said.

The spot where you landed could have 

been an opening. The jagged edges to an astral lake. 

A portal. A different life and I hope that in this one your uncle 

does not infect you. I hope in this life you can swim, float 

without falling. A swan. Flightless but graceful, long hook neck, 

and committed to a love greater than your own life. 

How quickly this life has passed, you’ll never know now. 

After the funeral, your mother sat curbside, clutching

a big red suitcase, sweating in the 102-degree shadeless sun. Where 

ya going, we asked, openly clinging to our own bottled liquid escapes. 

Mental hospital, she flatly stated. We all nodded, in 

a strange sort of unison, immediate with understanding. Somebody

had invited a psychic to the funeral wake. Some people took acid. 

Someone said when a body descends from a great height, the soul

leaves the body before landing. Later on, someone who never

even knew you said it was likely very fast and painless, how the neck

tends to just snap. Leaving behind a flightless carcass of bones, flesh, 

and perhaps some white feathers as shiny as coins.

By M Lenoir Bond.  ⓒ 2019 M Lenoir Bond

Rorschach: I See a Blood Nest” originally appeared in the Best New Poets 2019 Anthology 

Asteraceae Silybum marianum 

I was born of with hundred tiny horns 

Balancing on a hollow stem

Reaching into the earth’s dark navel. 

In spring, my soft purples and bright greens 

pull in the attention of pollinators. 

You must witness a bumblebee 

falling asleep at dusk in a summer breeze

to become truly complete.

I, too, am a thing to be viewed, 

but also to never be touched. 

My hooking claws 

are always ready 

to snag fur or feathers or skin 

with the precision of arrows. 

I am the symbol of a once stentorian

country, now softened by it’s

hills of verdant glaze and weather-

smoothed, craggy introductions.  

Come autumn, I go beige and 

begin to grey, brittle under rains

after months of sunny heat.

My spikes remain even as 

I crumble into the slumber season.

By M Lenoir Bond.  ⓒ 2020 M Lenoir Bond

“Asteraceae Silybum marianum” originally appeared in COMP: an interdisciplinary journal https://www.compajournal.com/m-lenoir-bond-2-poems 2020  



Milepost 5 Portland, OR, July 6, 2017

• Mother Foucault’s Bookshop, Portland, OR, October 2016

Common Grounds Coffeehouse, Portland, OR, July 6, 2016

• Mother Foucault’s Bookshop, Portland, OR, January 2016

• Pairings Cafe, Portland, OR, June 2015

• Jade Lounge, Portland, OR, June 2014

Jade Lounge, Portland, OR, May 2014

• Glyph Cafe, Portland, OR, May 2014

• Jade Lounge, Portland, OR, March 2014

• The Cat Club, San Francisco, CA, March 2013

Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, June 2012

• Salvatore’s, Seaside, OR, Jan 2012

• Luna’s, Sacramento, CA Summer 2010

• USC (Univeristy of California), Los Angeles, CA, Fall 2007

Coming soon, eventually: More Portland, OR readings as well as Seattle, WA and Sacramento, CA.