Hannah Nussbaum

The Stranger 

Poppers Friday at The Morgue 

window shopping on Saturday 

the corn tint of the yellow suited me 

Sunday I walked intuitively 

the world popping off like a shot 

these generics breaking my balls 

as I search for X, the trickster myth 

the passion of Sisyphus, the reason, the limit 

a needle in the cell of my favorite playpen 

the pop cycle of days getting to me 

pop churn of alphabet city 

girly BMIs on grassy humps 

allergic to any seeable culture 

hot blue air turns up my lips and teeth 

I crook my back, speaking verbaciously 

horizontal cock in the park 

hip rising out of grass 

it rises most pleasingly 

I tend to want myself 

especially in the summer 

matricide this poor little afternoon 

it’s a terrible thing to go without refusal 

tortellini and a personal pie 

how the death drive is played 

how I want my life, the trick 

is to want what’s mine 

sickened by the language 

the virus that proves me 

mind dysplasia 

a thinking inside out 

a bunch of years ago 

I taught myself to time travel 

daytime on a bus 

a technique where I bookmark whatever instant 

I am having the best time 

my road movie on a Sunday 

escapism from the cell 

pushing my yellow paper sun


Cos X sounds like cossacks 

Sin X sounds like sinks 

my teenage cousin sounds like Rainman 

my hot single aunt saying how 

he lives to pick on her 

how it’s his raison d'être 

in a european accent she wipes an eye saying 

I’m all things bad to these boys 

the chocolate keto popsicle slips 

through the finger 

one day you just start longing 

for a house 

built by a contractor  

this popsicle tastes awesome 

this Netflix is free 

on two devices 

investing in the face 

and in the neck specifically 

now sucking the star 

as it darkens the shirt 

a pornhub domestic gothic 

ex-wife ex-daughter sister special — 

mature ex-cellist meets 

big boy with a 

vice grip


Air in my lip trying to whistle on a walk. The unresolved day my dad burned two cellos. Catgut  strings curling up in a drum. A stone in a yard in dialogue with a tree. Very nicely said on a walk last  spring. A yellow bird, a peel, an orange on the ground. Two big cellos in a closet since the seventies.  Eight family strings going out in the grate. Out in the yard, the rock pile and the gate. Ow from the  back. Oh from the top. Someone plays a cello near the lake on a walk.

Hannah Nussbaum is a poet, prose writer and essayist based in Brooklyn. Her writing has been published in Map Magazine, Spam Zine, Corridor8, Tank Magazine and elsewhere. Follow HN on Instagram at @han.nah.lee.n