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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

The Birds Are Singing; And Lyudmila Turns Back to Vasily to Say; New Mexico...

By: Max Seifert

The Birds Are Singing

Ok to no birds singing Ok to no gold Ok with the waiting Ok to a smaller world than the world Ok between fear and succor Ok in the seen human crowd Ok in the half organized midst Ok astride a mixed orange liquid Ok it’s an ugly leather coat Ok sailor no dreamboat sailor in the rain Ok to no birds and no mothers of birds Ok to no movie love scene but yes rain Ok to the 9-minute video where the artists scream into each other’s mouth until both become exhausted Ok accepting there is not but what can be half felt Ok with infinitely being me and then possibly being me some more Ok to what I don't know Ok to pretending to appreciate abstract art Ok with chewy whelks with egg noodles Ok to the continuations Ok with no bees this summer Ok with not a perfect love but a love Ok to not enough pollinators separate male and female yellow zucchini flowers withering Ok with the ineffable trillions of microorganisms that live in the belly of a rough skinned newt Ok to the new therapist's orange sofa—do they ever have better art? Ok with never seeing him again but did he know he was the first? Ok where 21 million chickens are eaten daily Ok to no contemporary equivalent to The Beatles Ok with the squeamish, halting ways we talk about poems Ok within a network of basically indistinguishable permutations Ok with indecipherable texts from my parents Ok to the last button on his dress shirt too small for my thumb Ok to no exact proportions Ok with between ten and eleven vowel sounds and words like plinth Ok having been circumcised for almost no reason Ok shall we dance with strangers after we’ve had two more drinks? Ok sleeping in the valley while the shepherd blows furiously his call Ok with no songs and no songs of birds Ok to worry Ok with the rain filling my mouth and my ears Ok with how are you and good night Ok at the train station to the sounds of a lot of black umbrellas opening Ok with these eyes and no others Ok to not knowing who in the room is cruel and not worth your time Ok with the hurt if it means I get to stay Ok touching my lips to the little hairs on your earlobe in order to be heard Ok with a souvenir replica Ok saying it again if I need to

And Lyudmila Turns Back to Vasily to Say

How lucky to have these minds and sex organs that jellyfish for example lack. Sometimes the world is poetry and only poetry. Others it is poetry and consistent snowfall, good for making balled-up poems glitter. Take a walk with me in Austin, Texas and maybe bite my neck in the way I like. Wage a war with me on impersonality and clothing beneath an image of a crabapple tree. Red may seem the moment because reddish are the waters of the retention ditch we'll slip the corpse of servile Beauty into. As Vasily turned to Lyudmila on the Pripyat Bridge where they were watching the reactor burn on Chernobyl last night he said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” Whereas Hedgie says there is no equivalent for the phrase “getting wet” in the Korean language. Let us you and me be incredibly decisive. Let’s write another lyric poem in the middle of the history of the United States of America. Then let’s do something ugly to a billionaire.

New Mexico with the Ailing Father

I explained as best I could The three swords at the feet of the figure The desert was a vast, obvious queer I had my secrets Dad looked a little like Georgia O'Keeffe We cried on one side of a king bed I struggled to put into words my feelings about Los Alamos We thought we understood red and brown and yellow I was angry He called the bartender amigo He was on hormones There was a whole house inside the gallery A phoney newspaper on the kitchen table Apparently, it was the season for miracles On the crowded street outside the Santa Fe Cathedral I drew the ninth trump, the hermit Something about trying to match at every turn The clean curves his skis left in the snow His lantern is a six-pointed star His cloak is a form of discretion He will live for 47 years in an adobe on the moon I am sure of it In a kind of hood, I will take his place on Earth  And follow him inside the mountain


Max Seifert lives in Austin, Texas. His writing has previously been published by The Adroit Journal, b[OINK] Zine, Gulf Coast, and Tupelo Quarterly. He is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.


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