CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Four Poems
Thea Brown



The Correspondent

All day all I think is I’m tired and typing, ticker. Am I talking too much or for. And why a girlish void person of emotional scaffolding a demon, a deadness. A depth, nonromantic. As though. The real deadness front-paged and swallowed.

The desert a lesser ecosystem than forest. Nah. Maybe decadent, the hierarchy, regressive gender. The hysterics of my forebears have worn me down. I report, again, saddened.

O, holler.

As if to pretend there’s been a change in element rather than reportage. Team sports is. (If and only if) living without a reveal, building toward help-me TV. Where I plead into the color gels: I’d like a social system I can join but privately, without leaving me, my screenshots, my clips.

Help-me TV, I feel, I feel I’m so tired despite my scheduled recuperation. Am I talking to too many people or for. Am I so much or too I. Is it all this tedious, these climates, this grasping, that coverage, those retractions. To push forth and pull back analyzed data, brain to eye-brain to brain. Sexy, but not the aspirational kind. This quiet, this quiet, I hate to fill it.



 



Principia

Where’s a lonely censorist to learn some new friends? Between blacking out redacting all unpleasant reactions, the source of which remains unpleasant. All your texts are of clickbait and then some fucking. Sometimes I can’t tell where the Internet ends and my personality begins, and this is solipsism in its contemporary form. Regardless of the breadth of my clicks, I still can’t form a beneficial simile, so.

Today was a good day. There were 52 individual dollars in the checking account. Plenty to cover the co-pay. How about that sunset screeching like friction brakes in the rain. How about that beep, soft and cautionary just before the withdrawal, every lonely transaction a translation tending toward inevitable yard sales.

I have lived in a city designed by those who worship convenience as a virtue. It is exactly as convenient as you’d suppose, but O the roses round the mansions, color roused only by the royal sun, and there is so much of it.

If only I could send you a message without the use of my fingers. I’d apologize to everyone the way they’re always apologizing to me for terminating friend-building conversations.

The community pool closes for disease. Those in the lower depths must stay and fight.

There is a thing that I like. It’s just hard to remember when the mist settles.

Those 52 dollars were everything to me.



 



Second Sight

Set the saint, let spin and flicker, red and gold. Quickly, several disenchantments chanted, leaded glass incanted leads stars to redirect gazers’ comet tails, crossed trails to the time time takes itself to travel out toward the thing traveling back toward wires: glazed information as a bundle of light wherein. Wherein forgetting complicates the data and the portal, it demurs, despite the hell beside it.

Two clementines on early gray linoleum, pale. Silk flowers faded to real colors: purple and moth. Tacked to a gallery wall for the nation to uphold. Tack them instead to you and you will forget that you are one of them, are made of them, are made to be one. Projection made display made purpose as dried grass between film reels, moth wings. Determined curiosity for all the nation packed facing one mile: art, art, retired spaceships as selected and flown for brightening workaday lunch breaks, by you for you, between the city’s teeth.

When you tell you how happy you make you, you make you think about the nature of nature. Gold and. Only then can you see it? Surveillance as applause. We all know we’re already known. We’ve all looked up and felt the brightening. Quick.



 



At the Waiting We Are

When the storm lumbers up, the lights go red—watch it. An ’87 Chrysler primed at the crosswalk, driver a bad mix of willing and wanting.

Fix the fan setting as sky columns roll closer, windows up. The factory ahead stalled midcentury though the road crews paddle on at night, floods bathing out-of-time structure in standstill or slow tilt. Gray walls teem, window cracks to let a snake of carnival light drip down the plaster.

Drivers at the light still red build a fire one of them starts by mouth. More boredom than necessity, still pocked urgency prevails as the hail won’t fall. The Chrysler ticks off, clicks cooling. Still inching toward the fire, now dull skitter in the intersection.

You lean across my lap to the glove compartment and pull out something bright and ovoid that pulses a little but I don’t mind because your smell’s become familiar.

The sky splits to reveal more sky and the factory begins to light, bit by bit, reverse shadow stealing across concrete. This is the beginning of something important, distant signs of celebration through the bodies unseen and silent behind the fire’s snap and whoosh. Drivers glance up, drivers raise arms and nothing falls despite the humidity.

The light begins to blink all directions. Everyone waits their turn.



Thea Brown is the author of Famous Times (H_NGM_N, 2018), Think of the Danger (H_NGM_N, 2016), and the chapbook We Are Fantastic (Petri Press, 2013). Recent or forthcoming poems can be found in Bennington Review, Oversound, LitHub, and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore, where she was the 2016–2017 Tickner Fellow at the Gilman School and a 2016 Rubys Artist Project Grant awardee.