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Four Poems
Gothic Peoples Institute

And were you cold last night 
And in dreams somewhat amphibian. 
Is she sometimes a coldfront. What do the gestures mean
If they aren’t the same as other gestures. 
What when their hands have gotten past each other. 
Has this one started a hiccup. Has he ridden a four-wheeler. 
Or, were the apples imported maybe. Did the leaves change more 
Or again. And was the creek turned by hoofprints.
If this was an inside what would it look like.
If they rubbed here would they prize vision so much.
If not, where to swim to. Where to go round again.
How to paddle there. Is it a bog. What do you suggest. 
What if you washed up. What if she aged years in seconds. 
What makes him cringe then. What causes laughing fits 
And have you practiced. And were they mountains. Is that Monadnock 
And Seven Sisters there. Did the preparation mature them well.
Were they worn. Were they pants. What found he was fossilized.
Did it wrinkle him. Did the things he said resemble sculpted stone.
What about a woodcut. How about an airplane
With a lawnmower on its wing. How about that.
If a thing is loved enough, does it equally experience time lapse.
And when does love get lied to. When appropriate for singing about.
Does it build in the manner you accumulate. Is it held by vacancy 
And noticeably troubled by them. Would they prefer another choice.
Which would she on a nametag. What about a tar patch.
Which keeps one later. Which more easily taken for confidence
Which for anarchy. What about an uppermost part.
What about on a roadtrip. What, for the sake of confusion.
And do our feet turn in the shape of hallelujah.
Do the prayers travel well. Are they like fruitcake
In any case, how do they meander. Or is it we’d better fling them.
Are those insightful to hear about or just kind of some private thoughts.
Like noodles then. Discernable in darkness. How hokey do we become.
And how many do we commemorate. Did she bring-it-on then.
And those by circumlocution then. Or, gathered otherwise.
Can you draw it. Can he drive it. Was it seen like our own hand.
And how was the ceremony. Did society-folk attend.
Did moons rise in storefronts. Were they a club 
With membership dwindling. Could any of them be danced to. 
Would it describe as seasonal. Would it present standardly.
Were they a bird’s nest. Was it a church-on-wheels.


March with Wounded Hound

In the circle I made the dog move
          made pear trees move 
And this was good to me if it was 
If a piling-on if a pear tree 
If all else well spring to you 
A ritual walk then a spring ritual 
          a circle to anybody 
                   and a tail to you and a dog 
Wisteria and twila and an airplane
Then an airplane then a palm frond
          a walk shape 
My ritual was azaleas bloomed 
          crocus bloomed 
Good Tuesday and all to anybody
Or more than anything something pear 
          made of dog then of scenery


Widespread, Plausible

We call it Total Animation. 
We who are tracking an owl just now
and are kneedeep and speaking 
of a thing to know of poplar trees 
and of the pebble of trees. 
And who do this of our overflowance 
and despite misgiving, and whatever discomfort,
and whatever abrasion. 
And we never see it. And are only about to—
held where a thing that never happens 
hasn’t yet. And whatever our making 
our heads are as if leaves burst from them in a day 
and better than that.


In a Meadow on a Beam

at the end we would begin again 
because there are instances wherein a notch 
           is a wide-mile and a best-self 
and could run-on-over or be folded in a backseat 
           then covered in tied flies 
                       and later be a bowl but be for you 
who resemble a spot of sun and also a motion 
           whose motion is over-there 
like to the victor go the things we jinx by talking about 
           and then they happen anyway 
out where we pushed all the weeds down 
and where the weather approaches aesthetic necessity 
           and our reason with no holes 
                       floats seven feet down the creek
That’s when our great speckled      reveals itself 
and comes full-on in a ghost-step

Jack Christian is the author of the chapbook Let’s Collaborate from Magic Helicopter Press. His poems have appeared recently in Drunken Boat, Sixth Finch, Cimarron Review, and notnostrums. He is from Richmond, Virginia, and lives now in Northampton, Massachusetts.