July 19, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Mateo Avila Chinchilla photo



Christopher Locke




Billy Collins



August morning still cool, before

the sun ignites like an animal running.

And I lie in bed reading poem after poem,

a poet I once loved so much I believed

he alone could save me, never mind I

was near dead, my brother and I in love

with the idea of a single pill, then ten,

then a hundred, and finally a kingdom

of blue narcotics so high our voices

scraped the surface raw. I now close

the book, watch sunlight spider up

the bedroom walls, and understand what

I liked so much: the repetition, the agreement

we’d reside in a world safe with Irish cows,

white clouds and history lessons, and the

occasional stalk of just-picked asparagus.






After The Fight



I felt empty as a cold chimney,

but walked through the rain

to a bridge, hands glazed

on the railing, and listened

to the sideways pull of river-

murmur speak of someplace else,

somewhere our lives were less

than rumor. Back in the auditorium,

I drank water from a paper cup

the kind nurses hand you with pills.

My daughter was to go onstage, my

wife silent in the drop of houselights.

I paced the lobby. There were doors

all around me; I had to choose one.






Christopher Locke

Christopher Locke’s poems have appeared widely, including such magazines as The North American Review, Agenda (London), Poetry East, Verse Daily, Southwest Review, The Literary Review, The Sun, West Branch, Rattle, Mudlark, and NPR’s Morning Edition and Ireland’s Radio One. Locke has seven collections of poetry published. His most recent is Ordinary Gods (2017—Salmon Poetry). Locke has received the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Award, state grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and a fellowship from Fundacion Valparaiso, (Spain). He teaches poetry online at The Poetry Barn and in person at North Country Community College, New York.

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