Philip Avilov πŸ”ˆ

Read in landscape mode!


He spat like a camel and listened to cowboy music,
swore at walrus and frightened the currents,
but something would pull him inland
when the water began to walk.

On the bank stood a fisherman
pinching a meaty grub off the hook;
a doctor who signed fifty slips
for counterfeit peanut allergies;
her son, who tossed snowballs
across the floes like hand grenades;
her mother, who dropped the laundry
onto the balding ground and marveled
at the coming-alive, the crash and tumble
of the river traveling.

The merman wrestled the ice upstream
and grabbed the rusty legs of a bridge.
“Tell me,” he asked,
“on this wide, wet land,
where did you learn to stand?”

The bridge replied, “It’s hard
to say,” gave a tug, then bounded
away, happily waving its armature.

Author Reading

Newlyweds Cry Over an IKEA Manual

babe i’m bored, these corridors won’t end
soon you’ll be the chairman darling
let’s table it i saw what you did there
or we leave this place and get hammered instead
order a screwdriver babe focus the plank to the left
wait wrong left ow my nuts no you can’t just bolt
out of here see the little arrow you know the drill
no i don’t need the allen wrench who the fuck
is allen anyway why do you talk about him so much
that’s it i’m moving back in with my mother
room and board and you go live in the woods
like some chipmunk going chirp chirp motherfuckers
guess who can’t maintain close relationships
and has temper tantrums over fucking cabinets
allen and now the cabinets are you kidding me

babe the bark beetle got here before us

About the Author

Philip Avilov is a student at the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Brown Political Review, and Hot Dish Magazine. He received the Sibley Poetry Prize and was New Hampshire’s 2022-2023 Teen Poet Laureate. Phil sings sea shanties with ARRR!! and is a whittling enthusiast. Find him online at