Inès Pujos’s poetry fluently scales the human spectrum of emotions—abjection, celebration, hunger, repulsion—conjuring space for how experience knits these conflicting impulses together. Her poems are primordial, modern, sage, urgent. She collapses and creates worlds with the reverence of an occult ritual—the smell of death, a ride on a crystal elephant, hundreds of pink crucifixes. Pujos is unabashed in her demands—“I want you to bite me here” and “Can’t I crave something else today?” These poems are arteries pumping essential desires. “It makes / me dizzy, how blood rushes to the surface” as Pujos paints over the old town square, nightmares, your throat until it's all relics, rubies, and raspberries.
-Adèle Barclay (Read Adèle on Fog Machine Here)
I ride naked on a crystal elephant to the gates of dawn
the priests pierced my nipples with the corners of a golden crucifix.
I’m your savior, your mother.
I want you to bite me here,
pull the raspberries away
until skin tears.
At the center of town square
I dismount elephant & crouch with a paintbrush
in my cunt & paint.
Priests wrap half moon’s crescent
around my neck & watch as brushstrokes get heavier.
They want me to lick myself off
The floor, bleed so their stars have something dark
To shine in.
You’ll have to break me
before putting me in the ground with flecks
of gold paint on my thighs. My arm isn’t worthy
of being a relic nailed onto the walls of your cathedrals,
my teeth no white enough to be case in a green amber ring, the eyes
of a cat left without milk. No femur of mine holy & framed
in a silver window of your breast.
The cathedral’s coffin-carved
doors remain parted. Our Lady
-with hands cupped upward-
welcomes the masses, knee
to marble, arms heavy with Mary
& sorrow to a chalk Christ.
I light the waxed wicks.
Along the Juarez Border,
hundreds of pink crucifixes gather.
A pregnant Chihuahua drags
its tits across the pavement
her little intestines moving.
EVERYTHING HIDES US
Shadows of fiddled heads fainting & the burst that follows.
Hands glowing in the dark, taking out light.
The possibility of fire erasing a face frightens me.
The remains of Martyrdom: a teal car & a relic heart.
No more no more no more missing the smell of you.
Can’t I crave something else today?
I’m blown away by the amount of cake served at funerals.
Promise you’ll take care of me.
I’ve dislocated my own skin. We can’t help
ourselves. We’re that breakable.
April is almost here with her two versions of weather.
Bring less clothing, more hours.
Ines Pujos holds an MFA in Poetry from NYU and lives in NYC. She is the cofounder and Poetry Editor of Print Oriented Bastards, an online literary journal. Her poems have appeared in Poor Claudia, The Journal, Salt Hill Press, Cosmonauts Ave, Powder Keg, The Adroit Journal, Day One, Bone Bouquet, Cimarron Review, Gulf Coast, Phantom, Hayden’s Ferry, Puerto del Sol, and Verse Daily, among others.