Poems by Robyn Art


Dear Avatar,


in the time it takes for someone to appear from behind the parked van with the release form, I could be kicking it poolside, the wind on the lake attitudinal and bitey this side of the urban arterials, ten-dollar cupcakes and high-end muffinry.  I can’t zip up my jeans for shit but still, the woods implode in actual autumnal splendor. Dear Corporate Underwriter, is there really life between the dishes? Dear Republican Majority, will you always traffic in discomfiture?  In school I hung out with the arty kids but not so much the girls with fabulous updo’s.  Sometimes we were all just, like, Dag, except for that time we witnessed a sort of meltdown/freakout at the waffle bar and looked at each other over the toppings station, like, Should we maybe call someone? Dear Thrill-Seeking Multitudes, hunker Thouest down with a stash of audiobooks and Vicodin, cruise the interweb, walk the earth, get into adventures. Freezer burn, paperwork, the full-bodied, womanly hours.  Dear Recession-Induced Homesteader, I remain, Dear Reader, Yours, &c. &c., a start, a beginning of things, a gazillion words for Whatever.

Dear Dr. Frankenstein:

—Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least from my example


Before the Reckoning, before Rebuffed Overtures,

Before mustachioed-and-barrel-chested, between If You

Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now and just after If It’s Too Nice, You Probably

Can’t Afford to Be There, I tried Talking To Them Like Regular People,

Like a Regular Person, I Opened With A Joke, I Worked The Room,

I kept abreast of the nuances between Notable Dissent and just sort of

passively-aggressively Swiffering  The Floor; between the Idea

Of Soccer and Harried Soccer Person, forever hustling the kids into the hatchback,

hitting the drive-through Post-Practice/Pre-Game,

between luge and louche, ravage and rampage, Trigger Warning, Dream Sequence,

Focus Group, and Subcommittee, when the day releases, for a moment,

its chokehold, when on a dreary night, when November and its stripped,

entropic fields, when the woods, a crushed husk

hibernant yet and beating, when Wherever You Go, There You Are,

before want, before desire, before Serious Coveting of Lawn Furniture,

before the mass shooting, supermoon, Dark Money, Thirty-Day Sobriety Chip,

benzo-withdrawal-fueled, sweaty and moribund fumblings by bathroom sinks,

Progressions and Tasks and everything as per the rubric, scheduled within an inch of its life,

between Clinical Depression and Standard-Issue Unhappiness,

Well, I Figured He’d Change and There’s No Easy Way To Say This,

I have seen the light and it was Good, I have seen the past and it is Recognizable

Thus Far Only To Itself, it simply can’t go on, it goes on


robyn-artRobyn Art is the author of “The Stunt Double in Winter” (Dusie 2007) – a Finalist for the 2005 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, and the 2005 Kore Press First Book Award. Her manuscript, “Amplitude, Awe,” was a Finalist for the 2014 Burnside Review Book Award. Her recent chapbook, “Farmer, Antagonist” (2016) was the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Chapbook Contest. Other chapbooks include “Vestigial Portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls” and “Scenes From the Body,” (dancing girl press), “Secret Lives of Blow-Up Dolls” (dusiekollectiv) and “Landless/Ness”(dancing girl press). Her work can be found in The Denver Quarterly, Juked, Bone Bouquet, La Petite Zine, Tinderbox and The Burnside Review.


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