These pieces are part of a larger project made up of poems that were written with their lexicons restricted to only the words present in word-banks I assembled. These word-banks/spreadsheets contained every word found on a single page of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho and every word from a single page of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The poems are intended to open a line of communication between the two works, which are both New York stories highlighting the failures and limitations of the American Dream during decades marked by excess.

A tan & good-looking Somebody

Scene two:

Woman in

Woman with once-
rosy skin

My ghost         has squeezed
the light from

A totally gone

On her face

And the truth is just

What did
or         didn’t

Please  listen

I’ve lost
my nerve


Touching me everywhere


Extra-constructed living

Heavy is the head
that houses
the silver tongue

The silver screen
that stretched   my tasteful
corpse    across the grass

Fender gliding in           to twist me bloody
& then your disappearing trick

But isn’t it true
that anyone could        crack up

Anyone could put on  the raincoat
& be     shifted 

Could come to shoulder           
            this suitcase      of meat

Chelsea Margaret Bodnar semi-unironically says “they’re literally me!” in reference to all manner of toxic fictional characters. She is co-editor of the online literary magazine Everything in Aspic and the author of three chapbooks: Basement Gemini (Hyacinth Girl Press), OUR HOME CAN BE A DANGEROUS PLACE (Grey Book Press) and SNOWBOAT TO NOWHERE (Grey Book Press). Her poetry can be found in many publications, including Sugared Water, The Bennington Review, The Destroyer, Rogue Agent, FreezeRay, Menacing Hedge and Sad Girl Review. More: Insta @the_wasteland_cometh