Robyn Art

Intake for Astronauts
To what extend do you agree with the statement, Most
important things involve breathing through the mouth?
Are you afflicted with Night Terrors, TMJ, or Snapping Hip Syndrome?
Have you ever consciously induced a trance state
by repeating the phrase, Yeeeaaaah, Boooooooyyyy! for hours?
Do you know of a German equivalent for sob story?
At what point in the narrative did the weapon
become apparent? Which meanings
of the word “consume” would you take out to a movie:
To purchase? To use up? To devour?

Going There

Mice in the walls. A bad haircut.
Suggestions prefaced with I know a guy…
The neighbors thinking whatthehellever
and just paving over the lawn.
The wind, sibilant and jazzed.
Annotated bibliographies.
Pepsi and Sudafed on ice. It’s the First Day
of the Rest of Your Life Somewhere!
Death, not your Real Name, a fly buzzing
to the tween emporium remix of I’m Sexy and I know It.
The drug-free life. How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge
and how much happier that man is who believes his native town
to be the world, lol!
Someplace very near to us, it is always getting late.
A few birds cheep, saying very little.

                              Real Tree

Amazing, how much wherewithal it takes
               to just kind of be there with the Toaster Strudel and the brake pads

with even the slightest modicum of with-it-ness
               or savvy to the tribulations of whichever oppressed culture

or the pellucid and intricate horror show we bequeath to our sugar-dazed progeny
               and call, “The World.” Otherwise an okay day, easy on the carbs,

mostly enduring the mainly broken-windows-policing of the day job,
               the landscape no more or less a jangle of lacerated nerves

and run largely by gruff men shouting at traffic lights and beleaguered, aspiring
               Associate degree-holders in Wal-Mart dress shirts while Angry Dad,

his suit saying possibly used-car salesman, possibly Jehovah’s Witness,
               flings the barrettes and Happy Meal toys out of his car while the kids huddle curbside;

the idea of one-point meditation being to transcend the oceanic guilt native to any lactiferous species—
                the flame and the story of the flame, the wreck and the story of the wreck—but what

to say of this humming, that particular pain-scape, the sun’s declensions behind the dumpster
               like the fine print on a novelty check,
the stripped, astonished fields?

               Although There Are, Still, The Roses

People continue to watch those “Testament to the Human Spirit” movies,
maybe cuddling on the couch with their “best friend,” which is all kinds of Kamikaze/
Hari Kiri/Sleeper Hold Death Moves on desire, already near-dormant like fish
beneath the sheeny lake’s oligneous muck, in turns transcendent and fucked-up,
marking time in the café habituated by fey and soon-to-be wayward tweens, just totally—what’s
the word—fraught, (even with strict instruction not to Turn Down Advances unless Ill, unless
Having Suffered A Great Loss,) hangdog or not, fettered or not, having Come To A Place
of Acceptance in the amphitheatric late-August heat, barely pregnant and oblivious
while meanwhile, across three state lines, in the weedy side lot of the pan-Asian place
the community garden built by the Gifted and Talented kids with that up-by-the-bootstraps look
and the killer test scores, let’s hope they have the sense one day not to trap what they love
like keeping a panther in a studio apartment or forget that, statistically-speaking, the salient
question regarding Dark Matter is does it swallow things whole like the contraband boa
in the studio apartment or was there nothing there to start while that control freak our closest star
won’t give up the simplest things—truant, officious; loony, despotic; for, against

Robyn Art is the author of Farmer, Antagonist which was selected by Jennifer L Knox as the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Chapbook Contest and published in Spring 2016. Her full-length poetry collection, The Stunt Double in Winter (Dusie 2007) was a Finalist for the 2005 Sawtooth Poetry Prize as well as the 2005 Kore Press First Book Award. A newer manuscript, Amplitude, Awe, was selected as a Finalist for the 2014 Burnside Review Book Award. Her chapbooks include Vestigial Portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Scenes From the Body, and Landless/Ness all from dancinggirlpress, as well as Secret Lives of Blow-Up Dolls (dusiekollectiv). Recent work can be found in The Denver Quarterly, The Illanot Review, Juked, Bone Bouquet, La Petite Zine, Tinderbox, The Burnside Review, Leveler, and Word For/Word.
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