Robyn Art


What’s happening, Oevre,
your copilot is my homegirl!

In the house, Synechdoche,
what part of hand did you mean in hand-job?

What’s good, Bildungsroman
Life is a waste of time; time is a waste of life; let’s all get wasted
and have the time of our lives;

It’s all you, Rule of Three:
A man walks into a bar;
A man walks into a bar;
A man walks into a bar;

What’s up, Schadenfreude,
your Survivor Guilt ate my Stockholm Syndrome!

Dear Backstory,
first rule about sexual issues with a loved one,
don’t talk about sexual issues with a loved one;

Hola, Deus Ex Machina,
Ask me about my First-World Problem!

Dear Sotte Voce,
can I get an Amen?

Ten Years in the Life of a Narcissist

I’m the abdication ensnared by dailiness.

I’m the delirious, earmarked tonnage of these our bodies.

I’m no one to whom the phrase “zany hijinxs” has ever been ascribed.

In my little corner of the cul-de-sac, in the paralytic evenings,

I’m the diasporic marigolds zapped by cold.

I’m the two-kids-under-six handicap for sexual frequency.

I’m the city you didn’t leave so much as it left you.

I’m the scoop on oral technique and couponing.

I’m the mutely gratuitous world, from which all reportedly sallies forth.

I’m the each time squalling and ravenous.

I’m the each time.

I’m the wound.


On the cul-de-sac behind the strip malls,
porch cluttered with off-market kiddie toys,
wild mint around the broken concrete stepso
Wabi: Muscle memory, night terror, Henry’s dream
of the giant hand.
Niche-marketing-opportunism? Wabi.
Beyond wabi.
Look not through it, but around it,
the heron glimpsed from the palace gate
but also whilst chillaxin’ in the Food Court,
the eyes of the gas-huffing kids like a shimmer
of deep-sea stars.
In this economy, not so much plum blossoms
bedecking the avenues,
more streets clogged with out-of-work mimes,
more crushed and luminous world, at once
unutterable and zany.
Learn about the pines from the pines,
and about the bamboo from the bamboo
from the bees at a hover,
libidinal and dazed,
the story of hovering.
From the world of dew,
the story of dew.
Every so often,
something gets out alive.


         Spring, perpetually chthonic and goofy                Spring, frothy and resinous,
         the not-yet-happening encased in bud
         and the wack nomenclature of highway signs
         with their promise of hot wings and life in the exurbs
         * (The Good Life: no baseboard rot /underage gun play,
         maybe fashioning soap from homegrown rendered pig lard?)
The Good Life: nearly always Somewhere-Else-Happening
It was a bird,
It was a stormy night in November
               *(In William James speak, “zerrissenheit,” literally,
the big rains ungluing the half-thawed earth
as surely as our own eventual, perforated
deaths, but Whatevs
         *(Feeling of Recognition: less like Angels-Of-Light-Hovering,
more like minor rug burn?) in a borrowed house, the Lord’s grievous mug on every wall
         *(that particular look of the Holy: half admonishing,
half hung-over)
         Sie erhalten kostenlose Viertel, Holz, mit Licht, und Service, die die
         Sie verdienen es
(you get wood, you get milk, and that is more than you deserve)
a bannerless outpost, as-of-yet unblinking by which all will be transformed
         *(All is Light! I tell you, Light!)

Robyn Art is the author of The Stunt Double in Winter (Dusie 2007) which was a Finalist for the 2005 Sawtooth Poetry Prize as well as the 2005 Kore Press First Book Award. Her chapbook, Antanonist, Awe was recently selected by Jennifer L. Know as the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Chapbook contest, and will be published in Spring 2016. Her newer manuscript, Amplitude, Awe, was recently selected as a Finalist for the 2014 Burnside Review Book Award. Her chapbooks include Vestigial Portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Scenes From the Body, both from dancing girl press, as well as Secret Lives of Blow-Up Dolls (dusiekollectiv) and Bust Moment, forthcoming from dancing girl press in Spring 2016. Her recent work can be found in The Denver Quarterly, The Ilanot Review, Blueline, The New Guard Review, La Petite Zine, Tinderbox, Coconut, Leveler, and Word For/Word.
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