But Not yet Another Blow
One boot on the snow. Now two.
After great sobs of effort I walk three,
four steps forward with shy dreams.
Like medieval anatomists scalpeling
for the soul, I catch some flicker,
but the eye is not quick enough.
Cameras take pictures of cameras
taking pictures, as if there were no way
to lose, or grow old, a half a truth,
like a parent telling a child that vegetables
are important on a dark and snowy day.
I used to think that, but then
I had to learn not to fall. I’m trying
to remember how to spell arabesque.
It’s like one of those nightmares
in which I stumble on stage into a fog.
Isn't It Supposed to Be Just Fun
People I know who are good
tell me to free up some and fortify myself.
They need help.
What they do does not you know
I’m not disillusioned. It isn’t as hot
I’m still feeling destroyed by tradition.
It will always be powerful
to me that people honk in support
What are people saying when all I want
What do I find to be most pleasant?
to the emotional weathervane. A tool
used for broadcasting
what the fuss is all about.
I pledge allegiance
to the pill
then I recant
because I can-can
like a con man
like a mime
don't speak to me
when I'm spiking
I always forget
my egg shells
I do feel
the alligators behind me
I always have
mixed up synapse
and sinew when
what I mean is tendon
my luxurious crustacean
my tiny pterodactyl
that sometimes perches
in my left ear
this syntax is sprung
this host is hostile
so I hoist myself up,
tuck in my waistline, and wait
Nathan Kemp was born in 1990. He is the author of two chapbooks, Animals of the New World (H_NGM_N BKS, 2015) and Gnomic Verse (Dream Horse Press, forthcoming). He is an associate editor at H_NGM_N BKS and a poetry editor for Barn Owl Review. He lives in Denver, Colorado.