Chronogram Poetry | December 2018 | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Chronogram Poetry | December 2018


Last Updated: 12/31/2018 1:52 pm
There are things in life that you have to do, but don’t want to do.
For example, I don’t want to go to your funeral.
—Louisa Zelek (7 years)

This is my blood
smeared on the page,
my eyes enucleated,
my tongue on rye,
my anger, my sorrow,
my wet stench,
the pulpy mass of my cerebellum
laid out in quarters,
my blood, sticky as corn syrup,
coating everything,
my every last betrayal
and sneer and fart,
my every word
a rebuke to the necessary folly
of words.

I won’t ask
if it’s good enough,
as if a field asks the wind
am I good enough,
but in the end
I won’t make it
past the end,
like cows die
I will die,
another cow life
another cow death,
these words,
the innards of my cow dreams,
rotting somewhere
beyond critique.
—Chris Watkins

When You Love
when you love someone
it never goes away
you might will it gone
you can live another life
in another place
but the place you loved
will never leave
it will never be far away
and in the night when
you are happiest
she will come back to you
and you will love her
once more and know
nothing has changed and
the end is the beginning
it is one and the same
—Richard Donnelly

Five Fading Memories of November
A Lincoln convertible.
Walter Cronkite’s tears.
A black veil.
The wheels of the caisson.

A Lincoln convertible.
Walter Cronkite’s tears.
A black veil.
The wheels of the caisson.

Walter Cronkite’s tears.
A black veil.
The wheels of the caisson.
A Lincoln convertible.

A black veil.
The wheels of the caisson.
A Lincoln convertible.
Walter Cronkite’s tears.

The wheels of the caisson.
A Lincoln convertible.
Walter Cronkite’s tears.
A black veil.
—J R Solonche

Goddess ravaged by a swan
On green lawn at golden dawn,
god of thunder he looked down
on golden shadows mixed with brown.
Suddenly swan of white and blue
flapped its wings and away it flew.
Bereft and left on the mead,
goddess rode off on black stead.
Thunder god was very wrought
in Valhalla halls of thought
and his mood was black as night
in cloudy sky without star light.
Swan is gone forever now,
drops of pearl on emerald bough.
—Roger Whitson

Stolen Names, Heavy Grips
The days have grown longer, friend
Since your ashes were scattered
Into the depths of San Francisco Bay
Since the world looked at your remains
And thought they knew a damn thing
Of love, or anger, or of you
A tattoo of a compass and “Oh Captain, My Captain”
Don’t mean a damn thing, friend
When I still can’t find you anymore
You vanished into your lamp while
We were all left hunting for an answer
That you found in your belt
And an escape that we found
In a prosthetic latex mask and a set of dice
It was always a mask with you, friend
When I had first heard the news
I began to write my second suicide note
If you couldn’t make it then
Who the hell am I to think I can?
Who the hell am I to think you could?
It’s sunrise, my boy, but I am not smiling
The days have grown longer, friend
I am so tired, my chest is collapsing
With nothing but metal to prop it up
Now that I’ve stopped remembering
It’s just in and out, in and out, in and out
I miss you.
So much- so much it’s crushing, friend.
Come back. Please. Just come back.
You made the world laugh,
I promise I’ll get you to smile
We owe you that much, just come back
Come back and see what you left behind
I promise it’ll be worth it, seeing it all
Would you do it? Would you come see it?
Can you hear us? Are you there, friend?
—William Ballner

Cigarettes burn slower
when god is watching
with the sunken eyes
of Saturday night.
—Rachel Kohler

Trash Pickup
A bear is taking
my garbage for free, but it
leaves it on my lawn.
—Matthew J. Spireng

A Human Mystery
not a heavenly one,
how to die, how
to say, let me return

to dust.

The journey of the boat
over great distances,

water is only metaphor
and darkness too—we say
it cannot be seen beyond,

but we do, light
breaks through, though
brokenly. Not so

with us, at our end
there is the last
breath and a going out and then

the rising stair
we imagine after, hanging
there invisibly—something

to console,
holding all we have
yet to know
—Jory Mickelson

The Tree
My Window:


She blushes in
shades of apricot,
orange blossom
honey, sunsets
when I gaze out
my window from
my bed, reluctant
to leave her side,
afraid to find her
bare when I return.


She shivers in
shades of pearl,
fresh cream, hand-
written letters,
when I gaze out
my frosted window,
unable to leave her
side, knowing I
won’t see her in
shades of fall again.

—Mariel Stein

The Backwards Geese
(from the gate outside South Egremont School)

With my hand on the just-frozen chain that holds the gate
      that pens in my son and his kindergarten classmates
            in a perpetual game of pick-up soccer, swishing
      crackles golden brown about their ankles, I look up

to see a curious sight:
      a rigidly regimented squadron of Canada geese
            vectoring north / northeast overhead
      toward more northern New England, beyond
            the no-longer foliant Green Mountains past the not-yet-Whites,
      along the St Lawrence toward the Maritimes

as if time could run backwards at their beckoning;
      as if winter could recede from my fingers and the white gate swing wide,
            with the fall riot returning to the bracketing treelimbs,
      thence to turn verdant and alive, the schoolyard now summer-empty.

And on they fly, geometrically bent against the wind and the tides,
      bringing back my son’s first lost tooth, summoning his sister
            to this hallowed ground, where she too grows younger,
      and recedes a school, and marvels at her baby brother’s disappearance,
            then engenders hilarious anxiety on the part of her parents
      who can’t wait to see her too sown into her mother’s womb.

The school buses grow bigger and boxier, still insistently yellow,
      and SUVs yield the road to station wagons,
            thence model Ts to horses to children’s schoolward feet;
      telephones grow inexorably larger, landing finally
            on the walls of our own parents’ homes, and televisions taking
      the opposite course, losing screen-size and pixelation at every step,
            dropping their colors, squeezed out by radios, then books, then voices.

But the chain is not thawing between my fingers, nor the autumnal soccer game
      surrendering to summer sports, nor my son, unaware of the perilous passage he
            nearly undertook, growing younger. For these are “resident” geese,
      not avatars any longer but everyday aviators.
            Immune from the seasonal imperative, they dream
      of a perfect future of unblemished angles;

Unable to reverse time’s arrow, they ignore it outright,
      banking by hard angles against chronology’s calculus,
            opting out entirely from their migratory birthright,
      leaving me, the one who holds the gate, the one who knows the date,
            and time, and forecast, in my own fugue.

—A. J. Kohlhepp


The Sun sets at high noon
Why does time have to come so soon?

Social gatherings and Local conversations
Is all such a Ridiculous accusation.

Human beings first — Scientific Name, HOMOSAPIEN

This is the exact Justification?


—Erin Scoville

do you see the crows at my window?
they are looking for something
what dark damage do they bring?
what do they want?
i’ve searched, there is nothing in this empty room

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