Heidi Lynn Staples

Poems of Heidi Lynn Staples


Dust is the only secret from the grate’s breath. Dust an unseamed presence the lights at night flare in the house, house whose windows are eyes to the sole body, mine, whispers of dust spilled everywhere throughout.

The cabinets and dresses shushed and veiled by dust, these bodies unbecoming wide-spread public unrecorded, can you see their eyes?

In the morning, when I dust off the piano, I see a park of single-wides shipwrecked on bricks porches empty blinds drawn everyone inside. They begin to sing, first softly then loudly a unison wafts out of the keyholes rising song of dust, dust from the ground and breathed what an orchestra dust and odors from the landfill

dust, clouds of
toxic dust singing
from its half-dozen
coal ash ponds

The song is in parts
soft like a dump
uncovered then loud
in mounds stacked six
stories high, trembling
trouble notes a mere
100 feet from

On my piano, dust and dust odors. I tap my feet to the tune while I dust stirring up dust
health problems, dust respiratory illness dust headaches dust dizziness dust nausea dust vomiting.

The children come in from the street.Their voices burn the morning is too joy, mix with the dust lakes of particulate makes sky a pyre, even as the landfill is song. Please let me dust in peace, I say.They go to pieces, the children, giggled with gladness, devoted to all things lively and dancing. Children come to us nude from the whirl to the world, every cell a swell unstill always a time for dancing.They cannot help themselves.

dust lust lustrous dust rust rest test testicular vehicular homicidal dust the dust sings
its voice carries everywhere err on the air

dusts are inhaled, they transport us

I see the children bright winged anemics in all their vast array, holding hands in my livingroom, they cannot help themselves, their bodies sing-a-long instruments and organs as their brains swell, light on their feet as dust clouds and odors

When I open the front door, they go dancing down the lane, enchanted humming dust’s tune as full of mischief as fugitive ash.

Here, O here

cashes to cashes
lust to dust
in trust we dust

I call out to them to stop watch for clouds of toxic dust, remember the landfill that rises 110 feet above the floor of the high desert

Yet the song fills every crevice and steals blown open the children’s mouths, the street like a god’s intestinal track pocked with ulcers, their bodies dance and sing dust they cannot help themselves every hole the song is pores into the lane dancing through the neighborhood’shomes, cars and gardens, waifs wafting asthmatic breathing polyrhythmically percussive rising as the “rotten egg” stench of hydrogen sulfide dust permeated dust houses dust life dust dusting dust

See how the children dance into the side of the mountain.
Coal dust, the future is theirs, dust is the only secret?


Gulf Shores Pier

One must not have a mind of water
to read the signs #ShiftingShores
#StrugglingtoSurvive #GonewiththeWind

nor let loose your line,
to stop & listen [www.it’s.like.my.own
little.aquarium.net] [www.can.we.go.to.the.beach.

now.net] –and be human, not
#development #storms #foot traffic

not #ADiversityofLife


A toad can die of light when Water, damn, see how when you hold her down, house’s eyes light up! Inside house, a toad in a hole starting to chant a name from inside my body, a my song say my name toad in a hole singing love of a hole.

This toad is like a fat wet circled by a fatter wetter, and on the unscene side of the fatter wetter, arise choirs. Not all men all women boys girls flora fauna fowl fish deep sea amoeba choirs. My song same my name toad choirs none have heard, to songs making a write. Or rather, on the unscene side flickers silent my song say my name toad flicks. Not familes, comedies, nudities, or snuff. The flicks reel with something like at the birth, the blood flowing down my thighs and onto the floor, like poured down the drain flows out to the river to the sea. You must watch this watershed only from a distant rooftop but could say the white lights flash by like a child’s wordless somersaults, weapons eager to destroy the army marching is my sentences.

Meanwhile, not my song say my name toad toad directly on the banks of rivers and creeks burrows throughout my body and this toad ash dust blowing off waste sites this toad 5.5 billion pounds of contaminated wastewater, this big toad bugged out toad trypophobia such that my holes fill with this toad 44 slurry lagoons. My song say my name toad croaking pretentious nonsense. My song say my name toad must either hold its breath and float or sink to the bottom toad punctured bladder, vapid and limp.

All day long, I’m toadily one who doesn’t know she’s two toads, a my song say my name toad toad tree frogs and allies and that toad trypophobia, all day long, I’m holding my breath. Everybody has to work. All day long, with everybody at work, my name leaks out from somewhere through the cackles in my ribbet ribbet’s, all day long, decomposing bacteria releasing methane under a frozen lake.

Someone steps out onto the lake. They have their cold weather clothing, are wearing crampons to keep from slipping, know how to read the ice. They’ve come to drill with an augur, to illuminate the lake. They’ve come to snap a photo. Please be careful, drilling someone, with your augur, a toad can die of light!



Forbidden fruit a flavor has for itself.

It has a bright green taste for its own itness, stretching out its baudy body, it’s bending over to touch its hills dipping its fingers into it the river on which it walks.

You tart! It says to itself, a smile wielding a belt.

Forbidden fruit invites forbidden trespassers to be prosecuted, persecuted, so cute is it?

Forbidden fruit’s shaved frame dressed to keel its curves bared across sings the street.

The tears in its fishnet widen, the fish through the afternoon air swim right up to my window, waking I contracts in a flood plain.

The sound of their heads ramming on the glass, inside the sound of their skulls crushing is the 6th mass extinction.

The sensation of their heads rammed on the glass blood unvieling the air comes untendered through my window, swishes its fishy longing here, nibbles on the dead skin of my heart.

Forbidden fruit breaks open upon the rocks of our forbidden love, spilling warm innards across my desk.

The stench the wetness the deference is spreading.

In the tiny broke-open faces at my feet, I see them star and spar behind a fence, wearing out warring in aviary collars, each movement a tree in a conservation easement a ballerina’s tattooed arms, undulant winged cherubs, someone else’s name.

The forbidden fruit pines leans to dance for me and only me and for every passersby and only itself, ravenous knock out forbidden to possess a pistol.

Forbidden fruit of our love between us police on patrol and five hundred years of property law, fruit forbidden a bazooka, hand grenade, missile, or explosive or incendiary device; a pistol, rifle, or shotgun; or a switch-blade knife, gravity knife, stiletto, sword, or dagger; or any club, baton, billy, black-jack, bludgeon, or metal knuckle, all this split spilt spit upon bleeding forbidden fruit has is the forbidden joy of the godless, which in the end, will it be enough to make a new life?

Possessed by a pistol, the fruits of whose labor, the legacy of how now it’s stairs with wide open lies sterile as a golf course in the cursed of things, can it seed far enough into the development’s furniture to seed forbidden fruit a flavor has for itself?



1. The title A**AA*A*A is a manifestation of Albaamaha, the plural word for a member of the Alabama tribe indigenous to the Mobile-Bay watershed.

2. “Dust Is The Only Secret” breaths research on the impact of coal dust from the article “Alabama’s Blackbelt Region: A land forgotten, contaminated by coal ash,” published on the Physicians for Social Responsibility website.

3. “The Fishermen” is pollinated by the glistening hive Wallace Stevens.

4. “Dust Is The Only Secret,” “Toad,” “Forbidden A Flavor Has,” wire wrap first lines of Emily Dickinson’s poems.

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