Spirit Parasite by Henry Goldkamp

Spirit Parasite

I knew I was altered in some way by the furniture rental when I committed
to buying a door knob set with one side silver and one side gold in order
to match respective rooms, in our case a bathroom and a hallway.

When you think about it, these two are the most 
important rooms in the house. In the world. Precious
gems. Washing and going somewhere else.

I’m counting down the contract stating I will sleep on the couch for eleven
more months, thirteen days. To better give you an idea of my level of

dainty psychopathy:

I don’t ever listen to anything on the speaker
when I’m driving. I don’t mean to describe it weirdly
—I mean the radio. There’s so many ways to listen
though, that I just mean I prefer driving in silence.
When alone. And I find pleasure in doing speed
and limits because most people do not do either.

This greatly increases the amount of lesser people to judge. The unhappy
and fast. Beneficial to a man of my big-dog status, installing knobs. Black
silver and blind gold. The inside and outside worlds we sojourn from,
vacation to. That’s my la-la-la, my windows-up sing-along fuck-you.

The granules of sand in my truck mats are sworn
enemies, a feud my children all inherit. Like a puppy
and his paw. Like the mucus of a tapeworm waiting.
A rotten yarn. The gulf in my head has so much to say.
I’ve driven all night to get here. The lemons life gives
being factory fresh. A vacuum sucking time like it’s
supposed to. A clean-freak in the sheets, the unmade bed
of the truck made of man-made metal. Too much hunger
and duck-duck-goose makes a man’s mouth water. Too
many whiskeys and their black holes yawn consequences.
Of lover, lover, liver failure.


Henry Goldkamp has lived against the Mississippi his entire life. Recent work appears in SLANT, Bridge Eight, glitterMOB, Notre Dame Review, and Permafrost. Last year his work was nominated for a Pushcart and two Best of the Nets. He is the recent recipient of the Ryan Chighizola Award for poetry from University of New Orleans, and his Bad Beach manuscript was named a finalist in Yemassee’s 2018 Chapbook Contest. His public art projects have been covered by Time and NPR.