Conjunctions:75 Dispatches from Solitude

Three Poems
The following is a selected text from “Three Poems” by Colin Channer, first published in Conjunctions:75, Dispatches from Solitude.

 


Bubble

Love from another time beneath me
in that new white cube house, mouth-water
from my brother’s lip a dollop on my arm;

and the bed irks when he fidgets 
in the wait-for-signal from the gap
between floor tiles and the ground;

not “the grounds”. . . ground . . . house bottom,
hush wilderness where short
unpainted pylons bear our house,

moral interstice of lizards, worms
and insects—where with keyholes
in our milk teeth we go crawling

with jook sticks to kill;
but not today, not now, not in this
drowsy interval, not with bellied

dog beneath us filled with pups;
expectant anguish, feels like advent
service at St. Mary’s or the held-in

glee on card nights near Christmas
when big people leave red punch
with anise to the ferns and tip to mum’s

barracks and we hear the rip of tape
in plastic sleigh beds getting pulled,
and we guess at gifts;

so, me and Gary sleepy-tangled-up this morning,
birth funk rising from the privates
of the house; peeny-wally dust makes

helix in the light the louvers plane;
the pregnant dog sounds settled in the place
where she belongs, the crawly gap,

our dim far-fetching range,
and in bed my mind gallops,
my chewed fingers work, names coming

as I pick tufts from the blue chenille
we cover with, our inner sky, thought bubble,
holder of our wishes, gases, pissings,

bun crumbs, Milo, condensed milk,
the drowsy pleasure of being above new
life as it’s ushered in not lost on me,

not lost because it’s just too big to grasp;
this is six-year-old bare love,
just adorable distress as each

pup imagined is named, my mind alert
for big dog bray or jostle, or a sightless
infant chirp, and now it comes!

newborn’s here-in-wonder cry on waking in an outtabelly underworld;
the next sound comes to mind still

       when I think efficient
       one growl all slaughtered runts,
       and every time I hear the sound

       and every time I hear the sound
       and every time I hear the sound
       the sound the sound the sound . . .

 

Colin Channer’s most recent book is the poetry collection Providential (Akashic Books). Born in Jamaica, and raised there and in New York, he teaches at Brown University.

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Vol. 78
Fear Itself
Spring 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

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from between the lines of Another Love Discourse
July 27, 2022
Silence
 I thought I was good because I had borne the brunt of society’s manhandling, because through halls
of terror I fled and gangs of girls followed me, seeking to press thumbs deep into
my arms, cheeks, back of my neck, thighs, because goodness lay heavy in the air around me, because
most around me were powerful underprivileged role models, I thought it good enough
to know and read vexatious histories and in my own private sanctum feel the pain, to dwell
in sorrow through theater and dance, that just by being around, goodness could rub off on a person
July 20, 2022
The island appeared in the playa –
            a thick family of vegetation in sand
            as if risen from the undulation of blued snow over
            grasses, purple. Huddling
            through time, as bodies green and dark
            in me knew better, yet compelled me
            to run from the tall thick house
            where I lay resting
            and take refuge from the wind
            where wind blew.
 
July 13, 2022
The feet trudge the path of the eyes.

Vouch for snow-covered trails skirted by galvanic tamaracks,
the previous fall’s needles a carpet of #2 pins.

Vouch for garrulous waxwings captivating powerlines,
mesmerizing middle C and rising,
coloratura clouds.

Vouch for the rich acoustic world of moths
fallen silent, streets of pupal stillness,
bodies suspended in glycerol sleep.
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