Two Poems by Virginia Konchan


Insurrection Sonnet

Night is irascible, like the words

of hoary men who rule the world

with their fistful of dirty dollars.

Go ahead, fire me. Because personality

emerges in the moment of dissent,

as every toddler and Bartlebian

figure knows. Before no,

we are an unresisting marsh

of mmm-hmm and yes sir.

A veritable swampland.

Risk rancor, risk blood;

break the circuitry

of power relations.

Lights out. Enter Noah.

Fire, meet water, the flood.

Tyrant Sonnet

To put a lion in a poem, say lion.

The sacred word justifies the means.

Would that all speech acts could rise

as such in the dusty margins,

fulfilling their functions

as bellhops and knaves.

Money is as money does.

The ego’s executive power

is to blame. So heap

those deviled eggs on a platter.

We’ll know the enemy

by the gusto with which

he eats them, then orders

all humanity to bow at his name.

Virginia Konchan is the author of a collection of poetry, The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and two chapbooks, including That Tree Is Mine (dancing girl press, 2017). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and Best New Poets. Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she teaches at Marist College.

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