Chronogram Poetry | January 2019 | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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Chronogram Poetry | January 2019

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A Pendulum for Amanda

When we die
I want our bones in a swinging casket
Loose and intermingling
rubbing up against one another
so that we are no longer distinguishable
or apart.
our edges rounded from the friction
like river rock smoothed over eternity
no corners or jagged edges
just each other without traits.
as unremarkable
as a handful of gravel
in the slender grasp of your graceful palm.
A shapeless resting place
For a love that replaced our need to be distinct.

—John Sullivan

Here's where we diverge
You to the liquor store
Me to the hotel lobby
A metal grate between my face and a bored hotel clerk
When she swiped my card her wrist flicked like the cool girls in high school.
Where are they now?
They are all working the midday shift at The Country Inn on Route 9.

Welcome to Fishkill, they say as they flick their wrists again and charge your card by the hour. Do you remember T?, they ask.
Do you remember how we danced at prom?
No and no.
The bells above the door jingle and you walk into the lobby,
A bottle under each arm, no bag in either hand.
A hotel hook-up.
Planned sometime between play dates and vaccinations.
Do you remember me? Do you remember how we fell in love?

—Melissa Akar

Breath & Brevity

Remember, you watched that leaf fall off the oak tree
in the yard outside the kitchen window in the house
that made you cry when you walked into it for the first time
because you knew you had dreamed it the night before?
You watched the leaf completely detach itself from the tree
then flutter, then fall to the ground.

There is a hard-won wisdom in witnessing.

You knew your life was half over,
you knew you were smarter for seeing it
but the damned leaf broke your heart because
you never imagined how long it would take
to stand inside that moment,
to watch the leaf make contact with the earth.
All these things you never noticed before
your half life was lived.

There is hard-won wisdom in witnessing.

The vertical space above your head seems to help
when you are on this second side of living.
High ceilings in the rooms you live in make the days more breathable.
No one thinks much of vertical space these days
but you know it helps to be able to hold your head
up high in the rooms that hold your life.

There is hard-won wisdom in witnessing.

—Lori Corry

The Emerald Isle Dance Hall

From the bridge in South Cairo
you can see it
the old Emerald Isle Dance Hall,
abandoned,
sagging over Catskill Creek.
It was quite the place, they said,
with the waltzes
the romance
the beer
the floorboards jumping in time to the music.

If you turn left onto 23B
and park on the shoulder,
you can cross the road
and find the building
partially hidden by massive trees.

The word SHAMROCK is barely visible on the wall
and an old neon sign DANCE hangs askew near the roof.
Where a wall has collapsed you can see the stage
backed by windows overlooking the creek.
Walk around to the porch where columns remain
and you can picture the gaiety
when bands like the Galway Blazers
made the air sing
on South Cairo’s summer nights.

—Sandra Dutton

Enough
If I were the waves
And you were the sand,
I would tease your massive arrangement
Forming and reforming
Provoking and persuading,
Pulverized to purify by constancy.
I would lie heavily over you
Pulverized to purify by constancy.

I would lie heavily over you
Dark and dense at night.

Still and silent.
Suffocating you with fluid swells,
Demanding and owning.
Only to release you through a third—the day’s sun,
To have you lucid and crystal by day,
Clear to your deepest depth,
Your needs and worry set free,
As I crash against you day and night to remind you,

I am here all around you
Quenching you,
Disturbing you
Loving you

—Peggy Bruen

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