Monday, February 1, 2021

Four Poems, by Chris Hutchinson

 

MEANWHILE, MYRMIDONS

 

Clouds float by
like the distracted minds
of underpaid lab technicians. 

Their hypothesis is
thoroughbred enlightenments
breed rough lichens. 

Meanwhile, the faces of Myrmidons
appear in the rear view mirror, grotesque
like half-formed similes. 

We mean what we say
when we say we say 
what we mean 

they say
without really having to—

 

ACCORDING TO THE ART OF POWER


Your resubmitted treatise on class wa­­rfare
has supplanted my feelings
which once tried to spell the word
“hunger” in blood-tipped toothpicks
on the paper plate of the moon. 

An evening breeze spins around your oyster mushroom hairstyle.
If they were real, your cheeks might boast a puce filigree of veins. 

From this place, Jupiter appears
multiplied in the compound eyes of office towers
before it rolls across your naked forearm and snags
on a razor-wire tattoo. It’s still summer. 

Another plinth gets vandalized
by billowing sail-shaped shadows, but then      
it’s too late. Liberty Island turns blue.


 

ANOTHER POEM THAT WANTS SOMETHING TO DO WITH HISTORY BUT NOTHING TO DO WITH ME, THANK GOD

  

Beneath a blue afternoon of evergreens
vernacular shadows and cerebral-colored mosses
once dappled and draped themselves in slow-motion-time across
acres of the exposed sandstone’s flesh. 

Behind a dust-spangled screen
of regrets, I once heaved and scattered myself into being like this—
with the charm of a pointillist, drunk on schnapps. 

Today, the sky slantwise thrusts the net of its will
upon you, and me, and everyone who’s ever been
quarantined with seven-billion hues, post-factual
grooves, and pornographic options. 

I slaughter from afar, as always. 
You text, twerk, invent new pronouns
sail away with Musk to Mars.
Pastiche, pandering, and politics
instead of poetry. Clout. 

I cross my heart, hope not to die.
Your mind’s sun-shot
like a hummingbird’s wing beneath 
sledgehammers of disinformation. 

Together, we once gnawed the mineral-rich air
spat vapid hashtags back at the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—
both of which, today, let’s both agree
taste like rust.   

 

YOU’D THINK I’D NEED A TITLE 

 

You’d think vanilla swimwear would be
the envy of chocolate statuary. 

You’d think psychedelic lichens would mean more
interest in four-player chess as a metaphor 

for metaphoricity.

But as you — who on a cold bench facing the river valley
feeds an albino skunk crumbs of stale coffee cake — 

as you might say — you meaty man of valor, you lover
of the word  “moreover” — 

Look on my works, ye mighty
and disambiguate! 

And the truth is never not anywhere. 

 

 

 

Canadian writer Chris Hutchinson is the author of four poetry books as well as the speculative autobiography in verse novel Jonas in Frames. His most recent poetry collection, In the Vicinity of Riches (Goose Lane Editions / icehouse poetry), appeared in spring, 2020. Catch him online at: chris-hutchinson.com


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