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2 Poems by Ollie Shane

Dead Names Stay Dead

After @sweatermuppetv2

whenever someone calls me [redacted]

some zombie rises from where I buried

Fathers joy and mothers warmth

the names I shouted into a hole

That the wind still whispers around the full moon, making me shiver


Their light

That zombie doesn’t look decrepit,

On the contrary, it’s quite well kept

Groomed in my mothers ways, which,

While well intentioned, don’t fit

My life

It’s accompanied by a vampire, unkempt

Because that’s the life he leads

A immortal nomad

Avoiding crosses and garlic strings like a professional


They are gender envy, truly

He is me, I am him,

I am also—I shudder to think this—am

The zombie when I don’t want to go through the lecture of gender and

Its mutability.

The zombie’s fluidity sprays on me when I kill it

The vampire flees

He tries to sink his teeth into my neck

A single red teardrop remains

They smell like nature’s dark corners, the ones Wordsworth and even


Despite his talk of the sublime terror, avoids

I go to the shower because I’ve been told by webmd to do this when

Confronting the supernatural

I wash away my tears before i attend to the one at my juncture

It’s not deep, so i avoid it

I assume that the fluids will drain

They stick like tourists clothes on hot days

No matter how many washcloths i use, it shines, as glittery as

The clubs i tell my parents i do not go to when i borrow the car late

at night

To pull up to the iambic pulse of the club speakers

And they say a hail mary over me

And I let them

Because I have my own ritual

When I drive, I flick my pulsing neck and caress the fluid’s trails

Hoping for

A man to die in my arms.

Recovery Starts Here

She said in front of the prison phones

While our collective support person was reporting

of what it used to be before

we grew a collective bullshit detector

Straightjackets a old fashion trend

In the psych ward

She said with dip-dyed hair

Done because

Stepping over the edge is too painful

For the brittleness our illnesses bring

She said, tears glimmering; expensive jewelry

From her bloodshot eyes

recovery is nonlinear, i wanted to say

(The experts have been proven wrong)

There can be circles, hell even dodecahedrons

But there isn’t a 12 step path

Some days everything feels like a sharp nail

Puncturing your tire

And that’s ok

And I don’t have a poetic way of saying it otherwise even tho im the

one who’s supposed to choose good diction

At that moment all I could do

was look into ur eyes

Imagining giving you

What you needed: a hug.


Ollie Shane (he/they) is the author of the chapbook I Do It So It Feels Like Hell (Bottlecap Press, 2022). He is a English major at Bryn Mawr College, whose work has been published in Bibliopunks Zine, Philadelphia Stories, and elsewhere. You can follow on Twitter Instagram @aolshane.


Hugs by Sensu


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