Mark Cunningham

Pleasing Fungus Beetle
           Sorry I’m late. I wanted to read the shoe store’s mission statement. If book covers are to be believed, liberals spend a lot of their waking hours being “astonished.” Houdini vowed to communicate from beyond the grave and failed, but books are still appearing with blurbs by Robert Creeley. The first thing we need to do is to get people who feel down-trodden to stop saying “it’s spitting snow,” since this shows a lack of self-respect.

Red-headed Ash Borer
           If developers keep dumping McMansions in the middle of mud fields, soon I won’t be able to look anywhere without looking into somebody’s window. A paradise of sorts, yes. I used to have a subconscious mind. Now I have spam. If I say that today is a repetition of yesterday and that tomorrow will be a repetition of today, I am not repeating myself. I’m building a brand.

Primitive Weevil
           As the second-year law student pointed out, the whole purpose of society is to make sure dolphins don’t go extinct. Is that a police car, or just a guard rail gleaming in the sun? The test was on the uncertainty principle, but since my mind works on the uncertainty principle, I didn’t do very well. It’s cold enough in my kitchen that I can see my breath; therefore, I am.

Variable Lady Beetle
           Because it disintegrates, it is the world. I gave it a meaningless title, but that changed its meaning. Try to fit curved space in a box: the sides bulge at once and suddenly Greenland is huge. I no longer get so irritated when someone swings a little to the right before making a left turn.

Colorful Foliage Ground Beetle
           The longer those girls stay fat, the thinner they start to look. “Fugue” means an elaborate patterning, an out-of-sync repetition, and a total blanking. A friend of mine shaves his head to hide the fact that he is bald.

Mark Cunningham writes: "(The poems) come from a series on beetles. Each piece takes as its starting point some element of the beetle's behavior, appearance, or name, and goes from there. The beetle itself probably will not appear in the piece, but its characteristics determine what can go in."

His poems have appeared in recent issues of Dusie and Alice Blue; & he has two chapbooks, one on parts of the body on the Mudlark website and one on mostly household objects, titled Second Story, on the Right Hand Pointing website. Tarpaulin Sky Press (US) will be bringing out a book tentatively titled Body Language, which will be a sort of diptych containing two separate collections, Body (on parts of the body) and Primer (on letters and numbers).

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