Artwork: Sarah Bottini
And Then Where Did I Go?
A church basement
Styrofoam coffee cups and love I didn’t want
Or need I needed neurons and synapses equal to the world
And being well short of that I wanted none at all
Wanted numbness and a fast forward button
The quickness of pleasure and its immediate present
Save me from thought
Drop me on a stool in the soft low light
Of my last evening melting into madness
But instead you brought me here
You who I know now only by silence
And by practice and never directly
But when I see you reflected or refracted
Against green moss or the idea of green
Against my quietest need met by hands
That could touch anything else but touch me
Against coolness or warmth or the sharp edge
Of turning from the easy to the simple
Against unnecessary grace
And the infinitely knowable, my dearest people
When I see you there for a moment I stay
In the basement of our quiet work
The Karner Blues
I’m taken by good things
On the ocean floor microbes eat methane,
A silent consuming keeps the earth
Meanwhile on the surface,
drain the pond of our own work
for a new mall
that sells progress and sneakers
so clean there’s no trace of the humans
who made them.
A plaque on the wall
of the Karner Blue Butterflies killed
we are kind.
Our Father Our CEO says
We do good by doing well.
Growth is also the lump on my breast.
Two eternal women steady a man
Fallen on the hot street.
A band unnamed only plays shelters
and no money gets you front row seats.
We dangle together unsheltered
On the hot street
In the shelter
In the front row
Remembering the Karner blues
Hoping the ocean below.
Chris is a poet who lives in Albany, New York with his one-eyed cat named Leela Bubbles McFriendship and a guitar named Gretschen. His poems have previously appeared in the spam folders of his friends.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.