Adepts and Imposters

Wendy Bourgeois


We used to fuck to Burl Ives and laugh ourselves sick with it.

I have never known such black despair.

The street light.  Your empty stare.  The midnight vermin

rummaging in the garbage.  Your hands in my hair.

Any cheap magician can produce phenomena.  My mother

Taught me sleight of hand. My whole life in arrears, A Hanged

Man looming over me, I’d almost rather die than remember

How sad it was, this spell I cast to free myself from fear.

 Pain without delusion. the straight dope. As pure

a note as I’ll ever sing, pricking my thin skin so I could at last feel

sorry for myself, turn to smoke in your skinny, loveless arms.




Wendy Renee Bourgeois is a poet living in Portland Oregon. She teaches writing and poetry around town, edits the poetry section of the literary journal the Gravity of the Thing, and published her first book, The Devil Says Maybe I Like It, in 2019.