Poetry

Public Relations and other poems

by Christopher Prewitt

 
Public Relations

 
It has been raining
but only on that side of town.

 
I go in my quiet way
nursing a fire ball,

 
wanting to be held in the air
that is screaming at me,

 
signing in at the front desk
of an old building

 
stained with streaks of milk
on the windows.

 
A young woman in a black dress
comes from the back to take my coat

 
and my teeth.
I try to ask her

 
why do daughters inflict violence on one another,
but she’s already at work

 
on my tongue.
It’s a device

 
that was once bright
as the silver coins

 
Judas will feel sad about forever.
There’s no time

 
to think about the rust.
I have to go.

 
I have to sit at my desk.
I have to write something brief

 
and apologetic
on behalf of my top floor shadow,

 
spinning with gold in his lap
and blood on his cheeks,

 
the company president.

 

Moonlight over Meat-eating Plants

Here’s how I write poems.
I live in a town.
I open my mouth.
The first person to kiss me
I come to resent.
The first gentle rain
to sleep at my feet
I hand over to the authorities.
Anyone who dines with me
at a Waffle House or a Golden Corral
has a friend for life.
Anyone who writes poems and hates poems
containing more than one language
and/or positive feelings
toward chain family restaurants
might as well kiss me
con lengua y uñas.
At the end of a long day being no one,
I make a simple dinner
for my wife,
and then I rub her back
until she falls asleep.
Just as I’m about to fall asleep,
I take my 3 subject notebook
and mechanical pencil
from the floor.
Every night I write
these same 2 lines over and over:

Christopher Prewitt,
You are a liar.

I can’t keep my eyes open.
I never get the title right.

 

Poema with Roses and Snowstorm

 

My son, you are better off
than a nightmare, any nightmare,

 
all the nightmares you’ve ever had
where the roses sprouting from your head

 
have teeth and they’re all falling out.
The person you love more than anything

 
has a ruby between their eyes—I won’t pretend
to know whom you love—and they’re angry

 
at you, so angry, they are snowstorm
as far as explanations go, as far as

 
explaining how they came to bury you
like Satan in the ice and the cold—

 
this is only a dream but your heart
is the heart of the cat

 
who sought warmth in the car engine
to put it bluntly. You are not

 
pure fear that is self saying to self
something. You are paper boat we are trying

 
with breaths gentle and constant to blow
through a wall of flame. We love you

 
precisely because you are fragility hiding nothing.
Drink this the mountain dew of our love. You are shaking

 

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Christopher Prewitt is a writer from southern Appalachia. His poems, fiction, and reviews have appeared in The Four Way Review, the NewerYork, The Cafe Ireal, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Vinyl, The Iowa Review, among others. His awards include nominations for the Best of the Net anthology and the Pushcart Prize, as well as the Billie & Curtis Owens Creative Writing Award. He is a former poetry editor at Inscape and Minnesota Review. He is at work on a novel, a full-length collection of poetry, and he has a chapbook ms. under review by editorial staffs.

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Samuel11

painting by Samuel Barrera

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Poetry

Assemblage on Kim and the Buffalo & Panagyric

by Christopher Prewitt

 

Assemblage on Kim and the Buffalo

When she kisses me, she leaves
rubies in my cheeks.
I sit here with the risen
white buffalo baby.

He forgives the man who killed him
for his pelt.
It is good to be nuzzled by the spirit.
I wish you all could feel what I feel

right now.
Between tongue and roof
the blueberry’s juices are everywhere.
I love my now purple teeth.

I feel that I love everyone
now and the sky isn’t full
of everyone who told me
I’d be sorry.

This is the precious fortune, the secret poorly kept.
I sat once miserable

for a job interview (eating rocks) and watched
men outside the boss’s door
trying to get a golf ball into a red plastic cup.
I thought in my short time this is

what I’ve done:
I’ve made my resume my gospel.
But my resume is not my gospel—
this is.

 

Panegyric

There is so much to love
I don’t care
how stupid
or pointless
I sound

Four legged animals with soft bellies forever
Heavy blue and red curtains that keep out the sun forever
The light of the Citgo on the county line at night forever
Synth pop and trip hop forever
Nicanor Parra forever

Sugary glazed pastries with strawberry mostly sometimes winter forever
Sweet chewable vitamins forever

I could go on
I will

Soft kisses at first forever
Then the tongue gets involved and it’s magic forever
New Year’s confetti in the pockets of a tweed jacket forever
My dad winking smiling and bumping my fist forever

The red guitar and someone to play it forever
Carbonated soft drinks forever
Maria Bamford forever

Driving away from Blacksburg forever

What else
What else
What else

Everything
Almost
everything

League of extraordinary gentlemen forever
That rainy Tuesday afternoon in October 2011
with my cat sleeping a mechanical pencil
and a one subject notebook forever

Yokohama, California forever
Skeletal Lamping forever

Kim making me a better man forever
a little braver
more forthcoming
with my imitation moonlight

Everyone else
seriously
check the liner notes
I’m kidding
where your names are written
that greasy stone (organ)
I need it
to pump blood

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Christopher Prewitt is a writer from southern Appalachia. His poems, fiction, and reviews have appeared in The Four Way Review, the NewerYork, The Cafe Ireal, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Vinyl, The Iowa Review, among others. His awards include nominations for the Best of the Net anthology and the Pushcart Prize, as well as the Billie & Curtis Owens Creative Writing Award. He is a former poetry editor at Inscape and Minnesota Review. He is at work on a novel, a full-length collection of poetry, and he has a chapbook ms. under review by editorial staffs.

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Angie1

photo by Angela M Campbell

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Poetry

Assemblage on the Lottery and the Local Economy and other poems

by Christopher Prewitt

 

Assemblage on the Lottery and the Local Economy

Here I lean against the edge of a basket
of a hot air balloon
looking down at my twin sister
the steel mill

Someone proposing a toast
raises a glass on a balcony
I’m floating over

I feel as oil feels         refined
with my lilac shirt buttoned up
just at the bottom of
my surgical scar

I am the remnants
of some dead thing feeding a machine
a number for money

As a young one I was given to fits
of dancing on pool tables
for the god I served

Now that he’s my lover
my surgeon says he wishes
he hadn’t taken out my heart

which is worth as much as an ant
scaling the slope
of a wooden rail at the river mill.

 

Meditation Beneath the Last Great Elm in Chester Park

In a day of blinding aircraft,
I built a church a fire to think.
I scaled and gutted the fish

of my old way of life.
There were times I was
a little girl setting fire to ants

with Father’s cologne
and Mother’s hairspray.
Things catch fire, but I can sing

“O Holy Night” in the falling snow,
when I’m starting to get hysterical
in my moth-eaten sweater.

Yes, there are days when I’m alone
in this town, and it’s every day.
But there is still the one streetlight

that comes on despite me
being the only one who hasn’t left.
I think to myself, that’s just fine.

Tomorrow morning I’ll get some paint
and write my family’s name
on every inch of the army tank

abandoned in the shopping center
parking lot. I’ll get a ladder
and my knife, I’ll cut down

from the tree every swaying
uniformed body when the starlings
have left the nest of mouths.

 

Ghost Discovering a Graffiti Thesis

A city by a river at night.

The lunatics were hiding in a cabin
underneath my thumbnail.

If I could stop right now, I would.

Wild geese are flying
in the phlegm of a hobo’s cough;
he is a master of calculus

keeping warm by burning
old lottery tickets in an oil drum.

The earth is a pay lake of bones—
so it is written
in graffiti on the concrete column
of the overpass.

What does it mean? I find myself
not bleeding like I used to,

not missing the women I’ve known,
nor their hair nor their tastes,
but their beds. Whatever I am,
liquid or stone, I have no reason
to continue, but I must. I must.

 

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Christopher Prewitt is a writer from southern Appalachia. His poems, fiction, and reviews have appeared in The Four Way Review, the NewerYork, The Cafe Ireal, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Vinyl, The Iowa Review, among others. His awards include nominations for the Best of the Net anthology and the Pushcart Prize, as well as the Billie & Curtis Owens Creative Writing Award. He is a former poetry editor at Inscape and Minnesota Review. He is at work on a novel, a full-length collection of poetry, and he has a chapbook ms. under review by editorial staffs.

in this issue_Painting Miguel Angel Reyes detail from FRAGMENTO DEL ARTIFICE

Miguel Angel Reyes

detail from Fragmento Del Artifice

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