In Want of Jasmine(poetry, gradually) is…


New collaborative poetry project with the the indomitable Jess June!

Please visit each week!


Among All the Bloody Things

Among All the Bloody Things
by Knight Quinn
Art: “Casper” by Nick Grey


Kukri moon slung low.
Yellowing. Ancient
moon. Tired. Strong. Aching
moon through atmosphere at sharp angles,
resizing herself: candlelight through a keyhole.

Wanting song. Wanting dance. Wanting slow, deliberate steps
and flowing fabric. Suffering no other light.

Hungering for deep, still waters.
Raging at the surf.
Forgetting she is the cause.

Tonight, she hates all cities, their planes and their towers.

She cannot bathe in her own light.
Among all the lonely and wild and bloody things,
she cannot bathe in her own light:

I am not your hunter’s bow. Nor your maiden; not your pregnant or waxing divine.
I am not the horns of your god. The sun does not pursue
me. I am not your scimitar when you have no mirror for
me. Fuck
me. Then get out. Let
me disappear beyond this horizon. Let
me find curvature. Let
me see a waning earth.

Casper NickGrey2013
“Casper” by Nick Grey, 2013

Spaghetti Night: a PTSD Story

Spaghetti Night: a PTSD Story
by Knight Quinn
art by artist unknown. Source here.

“A grown man
with mom issues…”
they say.
No. I
say. They never have
to. I’m dog(woo)d or
(will)ow when oak, or worse,
magnolia is de(man)ded-
I k(no)w the quality of
the pruning shear’s edge,
learned so well how to sharpen
before I could interfere with
power-lines, rooted, in
the shape of the
tree that grows the switches-
the threat far more violent
than the use.

I’ve wondered what
the voice of Harry
Potter’s therapist would
sound like, or if she
ever asked about cupboards
before signing off on
another sequel-
No Threat of Harm to
Himself or Others
stamped on his dossier

while I have a panic attack
because we’re out of napkins;
my son’s face is covered with
spaghetti sauce
and he’s about to
use his shirt sleeve when

we assess harm by
the scars we can count
when harm is re-living: wiping up spaghetti
sauce, blood-splattered
across the dining room wall.
Pieces of broken plate. This.
Every time I
wash my son’s shirt.

Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

Note: The following text is a transcription of the Stone Engraving of the parchment Declaration of Independence (the document on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum.) The spelling and punctuation reflects the original.

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton


North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn


South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton



John Hancock


Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton



George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton



Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross


Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean


New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris


New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark


New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple



Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry


Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery



Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott


New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton


-by Brian Quinn
Originally published here: Five:2:One Issue 16 (Volume 16)– May 31, 2017


i’ve got this poem now

relating a memory i had of
the Polaroid I took of this pearl i
once found.

it’s all that i have.

that’s not quite true:
i also have a yellowing copy of
Henley’s Twentieth Century
Formulas, Recipes and Processes.

it was given to me by my mother.

it warns that pearls(too)
yellow over time.
by absorbing perspiration
from being worn in the hair, at
the throat, and on
the arm.

this poem i have(now. that
i wrote?)
tells me that i
never had the pearl.
I only.took a picture of it(leaving
it where i found it),
put the Polaroid in my pocket to
carry around with me(to
to help me remember
its beauty).

Henley’s Formulas, Recipes
and Processes. and
the Polaroid of a pearl.

they were all that i had.

the Henley’s was yellowing from age
(does the poem mention
that? i don’t remember). the
Polaroid was just starting to,
around the edges, from
absorbing perspiration(from being

Cleaning Pearls*

Pearls turn yellow in the course of time by absorbing perspiration on account of being worn in the hair, at the throat, and on the arms. There are several ways of rendering them white again.

The best process is said to be to put the pearls into a bag with wheat bran and to heat the bag over a coal fire, with constant motion.

Another method is to bring 8 parts each of well-calcined, finely powdered lime and wood charcoal, which has been strained through a gauze sieve, to a boil with 500 parts of pure rain water, suspend the pearls over the steam of the boiling water until they are warmed through, and then boil them in the liquid for 5 minutes, turning frequently. Let them cool in the liquid, take them out, and wash off well with clean water.

Place the pearls in a piece of fine linen, throw salt on them, and tie them up. Next rinse the tied-up pearls in lukewarm water until all the salt has been extracted, and dry them at an ordinary temperature.

The pearls may also be boiled about 1/4 hour in cow’s milk into which a little cheese or soap has been scraped; take them out, rinse off in fresh water, and dry them with a clean, white cloth.

Another method is to have the pearls, strung on a silk thread or wrapped up in thin gauze, mixed in a loaf of bread of barley flour and to have the loaf baked well in an oven, but not too brown. When cool remove the pearls.

Hang the pearls for a couple of minutes in hot, strong, wine vinegar or highly diluted sulphuric acid, remove, and rinse them in water. Do not leave them too long in the acid, otherwise they will be injured by it.

the poem doesn’t explain
what happened to the Polaroid of
the pearl. only that it was supposed to
help me remember beauty.
i really don’t remember ever
having it. the only
thing i can say
is that my pockets
are empty.

that’s not quite true:
i can say that my clothes smell of vinegar.
the milk tastes like soap.

i read in the poem that
i held on to the memory of the Polaroid
for a long time. it was all that i had.

i sometimes wonder what happened to
Henley’s Formulas, and Processes,
but i don’t really want to know. i think
i wear it around my neck, a comforting
oppression, but i can’t see it.

maybe it’s that i simply don’t
think about it anymore.

what I do think about is that
the poem is beginning to turn yellow.
i no longer have the paper
it was written’s the poem
itself.turning yellow.i carry it
to(keep it safe)remember the Polaroid.

images-2it’s all that i have now.

i don’t know
if any of
it is true

but i think i.wrote it: this poem of
a me(mory)i had.of this
Polaroid.i once.


*The section on Cleaning Pearls is quoted from
“Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes”
Author Norman W. Henley
Copyright 1916, The Norman W. Henley Publishing Company

and i carry

and i carry
-by Knight Quinn

and i carry
you with me
in (y)ears and tongue
and try(
oh god must i try?) to
and ignore
these achingly long

are covered in
i licked them
for traction)
rummaging through
stacks of old poetry
for some explanation of

but all i
but all you
showed me
but all we wrote
(will write)
cause and effect
(formally, conditionally):

if you trust
then you will trust
and it’s all logic
except when it’s lust
and then it’s all
the more logic(ally
lustfully beauti)
aware of shyly
and exposure.

(before me)
behind you(r
behind) and
with now-healed
(stacks of poetry
set aside for later
and empty,
open palms
that you blessed
with breathless


Published in
Return to the Gathering Place of the Waters
by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2017

A Drier World

A Drier World
-by Knight Quinn


is a new word
I found. I
like this word.

is a drier word.
A desert word.
A deserted word

that leaves behind
glossy pamphlets
promoting a motel’s
swimming pool

and your father’s
umbrella, unused and
leaning in the
dark corner by the back door.

You would like to
find a drier

where all umbrellas are left leaning
and pamphlets are the primary form of literature.

Either will do.
We’re too wet, you say.
We sweat
just getting up
off the couch, leaving
stains on the leather.

Aren’t we
wet enough with
humidity and
rain forests
and condensation
and ocean

No. I am not wet



Published in
Return to the Gathering Place of the Waters
by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2017