Shane Barnes

Shane Barnes writes, eats, and makes coffee in Brooklyn, New York. Born in Sacramento and raised in Appalachia, he’s written things that aren’t poetry for Esquire, Pitchfork, Men’s Journal, and Flavorwire. He makes the tweets at @shanekealoha



Last Tuesday Night At Rockbar


I once slept with a man who had my father’s eyes

and I could tell he was proud of me

for the way we orchestrated that 180-turnaround,

upside-down-reverse cow-plow Kama Sutra pose

without disengaging.

“Never give up,” they said,

sweet as their hazelnut sheen.


My mother’s mouth laughed at me once

from the face of a man toppled over

by the force of my falling flesh.


Have you seen your sister’s ass lately?

It looks great on this 36-year-old.

He’s in advertising and loves

cheesy diners, genre fiction, and the Wendy Williams Show.

His name is Nice Piggy Bottom;

he is 3.6 miles away.


The most beautiful thing on the dance floor of Rockbar

on Tuesday of last week

was my brother’s big belly,

and also the other my brother’s big belly

that was warming my brother’s big belly.

Our family reunion that night

helped me decide

not to buy tickets home

this Christmas.



Fruit Flies


Get that phantom hat feeling from those fat feet flowing

over ripped broke rubber black floormats

selling no-God nectar picked by one-God specters

too many bucks

what a necessity

smirk all day under that cherry lipstick Nike cap


don’t tell them you were laid off

say it’s all pretty good, shrug your professional shoulder shrug

sit on the upstairs loft cot

dip three fingers into garlic hummus

and make business cards

with pirated purple software

hit the Google


discover that fruit flies are gay

they manifest and infest in similar ways

as contemporary gays

(born in standing water and easily trapped

by jars of soap and vinegar)

and also they explode in color

when pressed too hard to a wall


but can a fruit fly have a beard,

and can a fruit fly go to the Eagle

or the matinee orgy near Penn Station,

or, better,

the one in Bay Ridge?

are there fruit flies at the party

hosted by the fired flight attendant

who starred in a BearFilms production

while his mother was out of town?

do fruit flies dress like policemen for Scruff photos?

are they masc4masc?

are they no Asians, no blacks, no chasers?

are they “muscle bears” who are afraid of their own stomachs?

or do they embrace and name them as “flesh aprons”?


do fruit flies fly with other fruit flies

based on what they look like?


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