Lisa’s fiction has been published in Transformations, R-KV-RY, and Westwind
(UCLA’s journal). Her fiction has won the Shirley Collier Prize (2010); Co-First place for The Ruth Brill Award (2010); First place winner The May Merrill Miller Award (2009); and was named best published work in Westwind’s Journal for 2009-2010. She has been a finalist in the Poet’s and Writer’s Writer’s Exchange contest (2009) and just received an honorable mention in
Writer’s Digest Annual Competition (2011) in the literary mainstream category.
“Some say Lisa Douglass is meta for god, but I don’t know if gpd is real.”
In That Empty Room
It was a high-school gymnasium, basketball hoops on either side, bleachers with the outlines of invisible teenagers–dashes like on coupons cut from the newspaper—two giant slicers rolled diagonally. The game was to run across and not to die. I did that. Later, up on a giant sidewalk floating in space, none of the concrete pieces touching, Lucille Ball chased me and tried to pull me off. There was no bunny rabbit. There was no neighborhood scare dog. There was no prank call to the McDonald’s strawberry shake. It was just us. You weren’t there. Don’t keep saying you were.
The Loneliness of a Body
Your arms are a casket
white tulips; money; mouthwash
they push me into a garden
where ghosts keep us
from being ourselves
I dig my hands through wet
earth and find your father’s skull
vine-wrapped with a dead bat
sticking out of his eye-hole
I suggest I sit in a saucer of milk
or drag you with a chain
You ask me to come back
on a day when you are living,
but nothing lives, not like the dead
I stare into the sky
one hand on my grand-mother and one hand
on your chest — the stars are wondering
if your piercings indicate slave or
God doesn’t love us
more than play us like a game
What else is there, if we can’t talk
about the things you hid—
lovers in closets, man–
but, your girl found me, told me
you wouldn’t fuck her
I am not yours now
and that fact is endless
And there are other reasons I burned the mattress.
I learned to sleep standing up against the wall
The moon cast a shadow on the mattress
of the both of us when we were children.
You were in your bug phase
The one where we researched the bugs that could exist
in a house with no couches, no tables.
You told me, “They smell like cumin.”
But I couldn’t smell it
We checked our bodies
Cleaned our couches
I still have the vacuum cleaner
It was 400 dollars.
You were married, that’s the one thing I never say
It was a girl who worshipped me
Her name was like mine, Elise.