​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

terrell jamal terry



The Demands


Stitch river & road. His sibling 
in the wedge (shivering)
with all that transient teaching 

& domestic day-dreaming,
had not focused on the center 
of the figment, her glasses

covered by blushed powdery light.

Water burns beneath.
The icy features of February
gradually fade & reform 

as recognizable letters; even so, 
not a single word reveals
the full life of their language.

Your head is above a barometer’s black line

& the consistent weight of normalcy.
Your heart is a hologram
& no smoky accident 

prevails over memories’
grave of history, just as you 
are trusting in the dark.






Detox Socks


I’m making gestures
into the deepening volume

of Cape Hatteras blue glass
as it drinks fog

(as I drink from a kettle/amulet) 

off the dystopian water
in a new medieval world.

We didn’t end up.

Words separated from touch
& fiery doorways.

The claim at my core,
a source of warmth and burn—
onion to rock.

A mind might fly away
to be wide awake.

To care: a temperature with many meanings.
I’m naming them in my hands.

I cross the street carefully 
because cars & death come fast.






Terrell Jamal Terry’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review, West Branch, Green Mountains Review, Washington Square Review, Cream City Review, Juked, Whiskey Island Magazine, and elsewhere. He resides in Raleigh, NC.