TWO POEMS

CHRISTINE KANOWNIK

AMERICAN BEAUTY

the computer doesn’t know what I’m writing
my hand won’t know when my head is dead
the internet does knows I’m a gemini
they’ve already felt the cleaver come down
splitting everything in two
I won’t know until I’m properly removed

a rich system of symbols leads easily from rain to my hatred of rain
my fear of language and the symbolism
inherent in both the male and female “form”
love being impossible when it’s committed to this binary

the time of the Dead Land has come
as absurd and predictable as the opening of a new social media account
lousy with brunch in the Dead Land

A friend of the devil is a friend of mine, etc.

.

.

THE LABOR OF BEING

the ball at the top of my spine keeps spinning
I cannot relax or see

if I have a dream
about being in labor
does that mean I’m pregnant?

Van Gogh plowed the fields
and painted the plowing of the fields
in every image of a plowed field

but still
his painting were never
plowed fields;
no actual plower existed

if I have a dream
about dying
does that mean I’m dead?

I’ll take his eyes with me when I pass
……./ we get through this by getting through this

every stroke belies fertility
…………../ I am a pomegranate split open
…………../ I am the pomegranate seeds
…………../I am juice spilt

I want the truth in my mouth
hard and round like candy you cannot chew or swallow

if I have a dream
about a python in my bedroom
does that mean I’ll finally get laid?

instead
I’m a partridge dressed for the Holiday

instead
I am the expressive use of paint
ridiculed by my peers

instead
my stars became a maelstrom of light

instead
I am a dream that means absolutely nothing

Christine Kanownik is the author of KING OF PAIN (Monk Books 2016). Her poetry is can be found at FENCE, Diagram, Poetry Crush, Jubilat, among others. Her chapbook We Are Now Beginning to Act Wildly was published in 2012 by Diez Press. She lives and works in New York.