Nate Pritts


Prison House of the Morning Star

We occasionally get into trouble, my friends & I.

There was the time my friend in red was being chased
by invisible werewolves. We built an invisible barricade
to keep the invisible werewolves out but my friend in red
still claims to hear silent howls in the night. One other time,

my friends & I got ourselves trapped in individual-sized
prisons. We could no longer perform our secret handshake,
kept distant from each other by the unique quality of the bars.

The prisons themselves seemed to grow smaller as night
came on & then, with a blink, they were gone. We were ecstatic until,
in daylight, we realized the bars had formed snug to our bodies,

that we’d wear them always & unnoticeably.

The Fullness of Time

On certain days my friends & I sit around the crystal ball
holding hands. We’re never sure what this accomplishes
but, before you know it, it’s time to go our separate ways.


My friends & I walk a thin line between universal adulation
& scoffing disinterest. It only takes one wrong move

to turn the crowd against us. This bright morning,
picketing my house: one hundred thousand angry faces

holding up signs naming me traitor. But I never avowed belief
in any cause at all! I called my friends & the situation

was the same in each instance. Our plan was to cross
the curved crimson bridge in the small hours before dawn,

board a rocket & head to the moon. But we imagined
we’d offend the moon rocks. So we thought, collectively,

to steer clear of everything. I’ve committed no action,
spoken no word, in almost two months. My slate is almost clean.

Mysterious Spaceman

One day, my friends & I saw a huge man

in a space suit, plucking buildings from the ground
the same lazy way we would each pick up
a dandelion & pop off its head. We thought it best

to travel different roads in the future.

Drone of the Queen Bee

My friend in red has gone all weak-kneed
over this girl in stripes. She merely points a finger
in his direction, & an excruciating joy dawns on his face.

Gone are his ever-ready quips & chortles.

As you might imagine, this has caused a rift
between my friend in red & the rest of us.
In vague & inconsolable jealousy, my female friend

has started to show some skin. My friend in green
simply lifts the heavy boxes he is always carrying
a little higher, a kind of shrug.

My friend who wears earth tones is nowhere to be found

& won’t return phone calls. Me, I’m happy
for my friend in red. I sit inside a big yellow dome
& wonder about the beauty of the sun’s light.

Outcasts of Infinity

Whenever one of us gets down in the dumps
it’s up to the rest of us to come to the rescue.
The situation with Red is that he realizes

he can no longer be a drone to the Queen Bee.
My friend in browns & greens furrows his brow
heroically. Earnest Green fashions some handcuffs

to help keep Red from working against himself
in this time of turmoil & great need. Still
the lower half of his body disappears. We try to provide

something else for Red to focus on, all his pain
but his hope too, in danger of fading fast away.

Another poem from this series is forthcoming from 42opus.

©2005 Nate Pritts

Nate Pritts' new work appears in The Southern Review, POOL, Cimarron Review, Forklift, Ohio, DIAGRAM, TYPO, and horse less review. His chapbook, The Happy Seasons, is online from Swannigan & Wright. The editor and sole shareholder of H_NGM_N, an online journal of poetry, poetics, &c., Nate lives in Natchitoches, Louisiana.