The HyperTexts

James Wilk

James Wilk is a physician in Denver, Colorado, specializing in medical disorders complicating pregnancy. His work has appeared in many print and online venues including Measure, Pearl, The Barefoot Muse, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Raintown Review, Snakeskin and others. His 2007 chapbook, Shoulders, Fibs, and Lies, is available through the author or through Pudding House Press.

Alfred Wegener Speaks to His Wife

Laurasia has divorced Gondwanaland.
Enormous inland seas and vast primeval
rainforests turn to desert through upheaval
of continents, which group and then disband.
Great rock formations crumble into sand.
In consequence, the climate turns uncivil
and ecosystems vanish. Neither evil
nor good, tectonic plates break up, unplanned

If something sturdy as a continent
is ripped apart by earthquakes and subduction,
crust melting into magma, rocks entombed
in Hell, then we of thin integument,
who bear our own upheavals and corruption,
will drift apart as well. All love is doomed.

First appeared in Measure, Vol. II, 2007

Dyed Beauty

Glory be to hooch for painted things—
For bleach-blonde strippers, collagen-plumped lips;
For pink acrylic nails and spike-heeled shoes;
Bright thong bikinis; belly-button rings;
Wet T-shirts; tan lines; liposuctioned hips;
Mascara; lip gloss; butterfly tattoos.

All things skimpy, diaphanous and tight;
Leopard-skin panties; lacy bras and slips;
Her smile; her giggles; how she preens and coos;
It fathers forth what men desire at night;
                                       Praise Booze.

First appeared in Shoulders, Fibs, and Lies (Pudding House Press, 2007)

The Blue Sonneteer

My baby left me—left me crying in the rain.
My baby up and left me crying in the rain.
My baby’s up and gone—I never felt such pain.

We’d meet up every Tuesday, ten o’clock till noon—
Yes, every Tuesday mornin’, ten o’clock till noon—
Three hundred bucks for lovin’—sixty for the room.

I gave her gold and diamonds, lotsa shiny bling—
Gold and diamonds and rubies, lotsa shiny bling.
My baby left me ’cause I didn’t buy no ring.

My girl and all my money—flown away from me.
Yes, everything I got’s done flown away from me.
My heart and wallet’s empty—I’m in misery.

My baby she don’t love me, now I’m feeling blue.
My girl, now she don’t want me—at least my wife still do.

First appeared in Shoulders, Fibs, and Lies (Pudding House Press, 2007)

Ugly Ol’ Bitch

This bitch is old. A fatty tumor grows
like a potato planted on her hip.
Her muzzle’s gray. Two warts adorn her nose.
Drool oozes, sticky, off each speckled lip.
Her eyeballs, frosted white by cataracts,
can’t see two feet beyond her face. Her ears
don’t hear too good. They’re full of mites and wax.
She hasn’t fetched a stick or ball in years.
And if she didn’t have to take a whiz
twelve times a day she’d snooze away the time.
But ugly and decrepit as she is,
it ain’t because she’s ten years past her prime—
that mutt’s been sinful ugly all her life.
Yet she ain’t near as ugly as my

First appeared in The Raintown Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, December, 2008


Among the dorm room detritus exhumed
from the basement-mummified box,
like papyrus fragments from Oxyrhynchus
or dry encaustics from Fayum,

lay an envelope postmarked San Luis,
a Polaroid, and a yellowed folio marked
with the voluptuous loops of your pen strokes
and a whiff of rose-hips and ambergris.

First appeared in Shoulders, Fibs, and Lies (Pudding House Press, 2007)

Little League: Last Pitch

The freckled catcher signals to the mound
“inside and low,” past where the batter stood.
A whooosh, a grunt, then that familiar sound:
aluminum on leather-covered wood.
Three season’s drills and practicing assures
the center fielder where the ball will spin.
The shadow of a baseball cap obscures
all but his gapped-toothed, beatific grin
and fifty cheers grow silent as the ball
arcs up, up, down in its trajectory.
The center fielder, back against the wall,
with stinging hand in mitt, drops it. “Here, Lee!”
the shortstop shouts and hurls it to home plate.
The catcher pounces—half a second late.

First appeared in Westward Quarterly, Summer, 2008

The HyperTexts