Two Poems by Andrew Cantrell

Poetry: Andrew Cantrell


Where one finds that moody is like a word or like the register in which the sky loosens its grip on the day’s seething or it’s ghostly when you break it down to phrases and lineation sloughed stark and low in the cinema of our accumulating afternoons as they buckle, fold, and wither the exploded concrete of our rapidly-shrinking island’s inaugural flooding—

It is clear to me from the pulpit of my convalescing that I can’t fathom the geography of this city’s grid-like parataxis but only narrow and lathe and specify registers of moodiness and decay of afternoons and entelechies of demobilized concepts. Out of this I want nothing out of this servility of the sovereign and you can’t even register for the bachelor-party gift-exchange that is this moment and the grift of exchange anyhow reduces egos to identically flicking eyeballs. Out of this I want nothing more (than?) to be made whole. Of course there are chemicals too to our long present predicament to receive the gift of which I can only conclude requires that my scheming for martyrdom appears as unattractive as it always was—

You may sense that I am driving to a point here and you may be correct in some proportion or mean that’s golden or otherwise and that might preclude a radiant bearing-forth of the sum of a crisis’ energetic deferment. Out of this I want (for) nothing. I went for nothing. It’s worth nothing. Worth noting that I went for less than I always do. But a subjunctive mood may soon eclipse whatever means you try to hew to the in-falling in faultily decomposing notebooks of all your ordinary long and working days—

Insurgent kiosks of west-side communes topple into lift-off. The dialectical image as extra beat whose sum-over-histories explodes into the now as every document of civilization striates the articulated hand and voice with nets of discipline’s deeming. Then window-shopping in the then this is the question or then this is for the suggestion box okay then how can the presentiment of this present city its streaming nighttimes manifest in 5/4 time the syncope of its offspring’s labored teeming?

The Problem of the Body

Adopted into years that never lay so frozen as when ancient in our mutual deficient administration we hove chill in the bother of a disliked industrious year little in our knowing now north now forty one bad arm and one affable brain between us timeless and undulate close in to the guard of icy un-shedding trees where sick now in yards of aching we’re our own guards’ hustle in adopted years’ hassle unloving and fixed in nothing eyes little and unsure in their pure unknowing and we never made it out really of the years of awaiting the years or the storms or anybody’s blessing the bedsteads attacked with jacked-up hacksaws as they arrived tellers ancient and beloved of our mutual and deficient administration led back chastened and unmistakably turned and I remember anybody’s young skywriting you once said on the outside our harmless glasses ought to know but lost in fields of unappeasable trying a tardy utterance admits of nothing once good.

Andrew Cantrell is the author of Stratigraphy, available from Finishing Line Press. His poems and performances have appeared most recently in the anthologies Abstract|Ext and Emergency Index, and in journals including Upstairs at Duroc, Heavy Feather Review, Lana Turner, Anomalous, and Posit. Originally from Atlanta, he now lives in Chicago where he works as a union organizer.

Image: takeasnap,

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