Things I Felt in Algorithms; Handheld Napkins; Amethyst in Marching Chorus
By: Henry Cherry
Things I Felt in Algorithms
I felt the ardor traction
ray bemoaning felt
beams of light.
Twelve noon for
a bus token in Samantha’s
digital online urges.
Wow, ok. The heat came bomb like.
Kindness sorted in
refractive moments that
were a stinging army
of bees mirrored
from glass towers.
steamed carousers across
from street lamps, parking
meters, red plastic cups
on parade in the street,
powered by channel winds.
When the pocket of
misfortune was not Samantha
or Jeremy, or that guy
with the white streak
he said arrived after taking
too much L.S.D., there’s
a cause for memory, for
deductive forecasts, sailing
around a pooling asphalt
beyond. The auditory
presentation of alarm clocking
I was 19, maybe 20. Sitting next to
another 20 yr old. Commemorating
the end rites of still another 20 yr. old.
The mysterious counsel of grief unfolded
in a linen napkin my mother tucked
on my lap a few months before
that quiet spring hillside moment.
My family gathered in dark suits
for the Emphysemic matron that argued
incessantly with her daughter, my mother. First time I threw dirt on a coffin. That
memory has ridden with
me across the continent, like a beloved
book- by train, and car, by jet plane.
These small, thrifty provisions added
immeasurably to the destiny of comfort
met across my travels. I bound decision to
fried potatoes, to red-tinted white
hair permed to contrition atop
my grandmother’s head.
Amethyst in Marching Chorus
I choke around wounds
Something memorized across
the inky script of rush hour questions. The day in. The way
from. I call out
to the sweeping fronds, to the dodged light.
The tufted leather, buttoned
in sequential icy conversational
accounts. These, for the mutating
pattern of twilight monologues
folded behind race scores, patina of
use, provide an epilogue of beat and radiance.
And then the gates swing wide,
the arms outstretch in greeting.
Mascara, drop beats, perfume,
Chartreuse, silk. Reputable
breakdowns, slick backed
in sequin winks.
Henry Cherry has been a cowhand in South Texas, a chef in New Orleans and is now a journalist in Los Angeles. Recently nominated for the Pushcart and Orison Awards, he is winner of the Silver Needle Press Award for Poetry. His fiction, poetry and criticism have appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, Cathexis Northwest Press, Australia's Cordite Review, Otoliths, The Loch Raven Review, The Louisiana Review, Hello Goodbye Apocalypse, and The Nervous Breakdown.
"For the first poem, Things I Felt in Algorithms, when I wrote it, my head was in a Black Mountain School mindset and at the same time, trying to fathom the oncoming wave of fear that so much of binary computational methods bring to folks. We no longer can really separate what happens online emotionally with the natural world. That's where I was at when I wrote it.
Handheld Napkins might somehow be moving toward a Truman Capote thing I read around the time the poem takes place.But it is not about Truman Capote. It's about the elongation of death. The people I knew that died in that period of time have remained in my life far longer now than I knew either of them when they were alive. So this poem is, in it's own way, a thank you for that remainder, a blossom of life beyond death.
For Amethyst in Marching Chorus, that was the process of memorializing the winding passage of friendship."