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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In Print

Vol. 79
Onword
Fall 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

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November 30, 2022
Alice was actually a labeler and not a pickler. Still, she knew what Mr. H’s picklers did was nothing like her grandmother’s pickling, sweaty and stained and clouded by hot vinegar steam, shoveling already rotting vegetables into their boiling bath like some kind of unbelieving prayer. Everyone winced when eating what came out of her grandmother’s pickle jars. Mr. H’s were made of faceted clear glass, and the bobbing pickles inside were a bright, inviting candy-green. To look at one was to feel it snip crisply between your teeth, to set your mouth watering. Alice was midwife to that salivary burst. That was what she dressed up for. Today it mattered even more than usual.
November 23, 2022
I SAW ALL THE STRANGENESS IMMEDIATELY,

I saw it in this very particular slide of swell’s,
the sylphspun silk of the sylph, she sideways,
her garage is paradise in masque, her sweep
is saturn, szturn im sturm & string, install’d
in the area’s traverse. he follows that lucky
old sun, the gesture of her lining and loose
knot, and pulls herself through burns and a
dry wash and some soft lead. in discorporate
minerals, or in the sharing of the black sleek
sharing with the wild man in her soft shoes,
all over the panes of the various sworld and
out into the superhighway of bywater, hard
by marigny. to flow through one to another
indetermination, the posture of their brush
must be immaculate fray, all them, all they.
November 16, 2022
Day Book

One wants to grasp a latch.
The broken star, the cellophane.
One suffers if untethered from
the pain that brought a lock.
Across the way the husband tends his teeth.
The wife redresses, parted from her paper.
To emblemize, to separate the word
grief reaches. Grief reaches, unseduced.