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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

June ninth; April thirteenth; June twelfth

By: Emily Rankin

June ninth

The size of it should become obvious.

The hill, the mountain,

those big emotional scenes

making everyone seem to be some thing, some

crawling shell

Not wanting to talk about what’s really bothering you.

Not even knowing what’s really bothering you.

You, in particular.

You are prone to this.

It is likely that you will be overwhelmed

It is likely that you will make a scene

Something, some big thing, crawling the back of your mind

Something you don’t like, the size of it

upsets you, overwhelms you

You can feel it making something new and obvious in you.

To let it out, though

Not knowing how to put it back into your mind—

April thirteenth

Being certain is nearly impossible.

The moment quickly shifting in

the hidden cave of your heart

Impossible to avoid the long moments

There is no withdrawing to safety

There are no lasting decisions

Let the natural settling of time

make the signs truthful

Let it all mean some nearly impossible thing

The change is gentle

The flow of it pouring out

over the moon’s back

June twelfth

The confusing thing about reality is the way you might feel

like you are trying to escape something.

Running frantically, just steps ahead of some

culminating scene

The time running without looking back

running away and always, the distance between

So many of these so-called monsters

So often you fall and

keep falling

in the actual imaginable fear

In the movies

you will see the hero, the victim, the monsters.

You will see the similar cancers—

The hero must trip,

The monster must keep the scene

Sometimes, the confusing thing about life is

the way things become.

The way these situations keep the hero and the

victim and the monster all

always trying to escape.


Emily Rankin was born in Riverside, California and attended Abilene Christian University, where she received a BFA in 2011. Her body of work deals with the tangled threads of human connection and liminal space. She is currently based in New Mexico.

"In times of great uncertainty, I think people are drawn to anything that purports to give meaning to our suffering or confusion. I find myself thinking often of those things to which we turn when we feel lost. Horoscopes offer some comfort for some of us; they tell us that there are reasons for what happens, that our lives are guided by some larger force that exists outside ourselves.

These pieces represent an experiment—they are formed from scraps of horoscopes that have been rearranged, reconfigured, and reformatted into poetry. I’m interested in what makes a poem a poem. I’m interested in how we might elevate and reframe some common thing we see every day, like a horoscope, into art. How, if we read it in a new form, a new context, we might find something new within it."


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