Jordyn Rourke

Topanga Canyon Rattlesnake


Come with me, silly artists.

Let’s pulse down the P.C.H.

Salty feet out the window,

we’re passenger seat DJs.

Crap radio goes static

through Topanga Canyon Roads.

Green Pathfinder wallows up—

swallows up—heated concrete

underneath six o’clock sun.

Soak in the balm-butter air,

sweet, dewy-thick and thinning.

Park. Climb climb climb, breathe climb sip—

spit, sweat–tarps off at the top.

Flash the valley, shimmy shake,

meet the guile rattlesnake.

Give us that honeyed-smile,

and your sap-venom secret.

Lethal molasses dripping

dreamy poison-lacquered goo.

We slip on by the coiled

beast—keep your secret, creature.

Creep through sandy ant hills,

shed your scales, we’ll shed our shirts,

and slither down the mountain

in sweet shameless reverie.


Inspired by her senior year mentor, Jordyn Rourke, a Boston native, adopted poetry as her favorite form of art expression, while studying English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since graduating, Jordyn has relocated to Southern California, from where many of her poems are inspired. She divides her time between exploring the Pacific Coast, working towards becoming a teacher, and freelance writing.