Dominic Rouse: Inspired Poetry

Poets at Salty Dreams Poetry Forum wrote poetry in response to Dominic Rouse’s photography. Enjoy samples here, or visit the forum and throw down a few of your own.

Mr. Rouse’s photography has been archived at Mannequin Envy here:


moon in uranus
by Jewelmoon

moon in uranus

billie’s whithering away.
the dementia’s got her in its grip.
she comes up to me,
hair like a halo; asks what day
is today, is it saturday. are there
things I should be doing?

I say no. sit down and make a card.
she says, things are bad for dora
pray for her, will you? is today saturday?

I go out to the van, clothes stuck
to me, thinking how relentless it all is
and how while delivering food, lobsang
wangchuk said, don’t let me get old
I never want to get old and I smile
at him and say something like: way to develop
a nice aversion, dude. but I know he’s right.

I get home, walk through the door,
mom says, hi babe, is today saturday?

I swear, it’s fucking relentless.


My Husband’s Mother Hung Herself When He Was Three
by Tasha

I really don’t like it when he dresses like his mother
but this seems the only way he can talk about it




by Gala of the Garden

he would tie a knot
in her delicate stem,
if only to bathe his tongue
in her strong waters,
nibble delicately
at the cockles,
and feast until neither
could stand another bite.


Chimera Obscura by Dominic Rouse
by AllCellNoKey

1. Consider the belly-button in all its silliness,
absurdity at the center of rubber-skinned wishes,
tied off with pincers and slashed pre-slap
to become a blind eye watching time go by.

And how it pours out from slightly below
to form tiny lives that come and grow,
then cease to exist and decompose.
Puddles, memories, dark wilted rose.

2. How dark is my valley, how lame this game,
strange dreams of wanting, do you see the same?
Overfill the cup with thought in rut,
ever needing more, Good God, what a bore.

Once her ground did shake, was it but a mistake,
or do angels up above miss the hair down there?

3. We wondered what one looked like
that long ago summer,
the year the girls bloomed
and the boys grew wood.

Lumber mill, lumber mill,
innocence out back,
my ship of love
was ready to attack.

Ha-ha, look back,
laugh if you will,
in some cultures
wise old elders

teach boys how to dance.

Preacher, preacher,
last chance to confess,
sin is a lie long spoken
that created this mess.


by Alex Nodopaka

Better than
Vodka or mind
can ever conceive
The forked tongue
ultimate bliss
and eventual agony
concealed in chalice

by Alex Nodopaka

To a flute of white
I prefer a red

Full or empty or
anywhere in-between
her pitch varies

when wetted finger
runs around her rim
she hums and sings


a poem by Methmaker:

on this wall of bed/smoke/cloth
her arms disappear in the ceiling shadows
a voice leading of centime-separated fifths
to sip but not empty
the glowing darkness which brings out all objects



  1. October 17, 2006 at 7:55 pm


    It is always a pleasure working with you. Your selection of writers is outstanding and the look of the Ezine is superb. I appreciate the labor you invest in your baby and…

    Congratulations on the HissQuarterly Award… the quote:

    ” I’m happy to tell you that Mannequin Envy Quarterly is the recipient of our
    “Quarterly Award”. Where we point to your ‘zine and say, “We like it!
    It rocks! Well done!”

  2. December 7, 2006 at 7:25 pm

    Hey Jennifer,

    CONGRATULATIONS for your poem Nursing the Drought in the December AntiMuse poetry pub!

  3. Jennifer said,

    January 1, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks Alex! I have to add that one to the list on my page. The poem got mixed reviews and even a comment about phlem (which I am pretty sure was um….not too complimentary!)

    Good to see you here, friend. Don’t be a stranger.

    Happy New Year!


  4. January 26, 2007 at 6:46 am

    Dear Alex and all,

    thank you all so very much for the wonderful words you have written to accompany my images.

    Your efforts are much appreciated and I shall cherish them.

    warmest regards,


  5. Stephen Perloff said,

    February 1, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Nice to see this. One small thing. The sentence at the top reads, “Poets at Salty Dreams Poetry Forum wrote poetry in response to Dominic Rouse’s poetry.” But it should probably say “…in response to Dominic Rouse’s PHOTOGRAPHS.”

  6. jkvanburen said,

    February 1, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    So wonderful to see you here! Your talent is astounding, and I can see every one of your photographs any time I want, I just close my eyes, they are there. I am glad that you enjoyed the poems, it is hard to guess what an artist’s reaction will be.

    Thank you for taking the time to stop in, read and say hello!

    All the best,


  7. jkvanburen said,

    February 1, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks Stephen!

    I fixed it 🙂

    Glad you could stop by, and I hope you get to visit the Winter 07 update as well.

    All the best,


  8. Tasha Klein said,

    October 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    well, hello..

    i just found this. i did not know that there was a mannequinE blog.

    how is everyone?

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