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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: Erich von Hungen


The hotel sheets will be replaced,

the beds remade,

the pillows fluffed out and re-laid.

The scent of love

or argument,

excitement in a new place,

or solitude just sweated through

will be vacuumed up,

swept, rubbed, polished away.

There will be fresh soap,


and there will be spray.

In this room,

you will never know

or recognize a single person.

This room will only be

a widened part of the outside street

where cars pass and passing feet avert

and strangers remain what they are:

squares of intimacy

vacuumed up,

rubbed clean,

neutral before they’re seen.


Welcome, the mat is out.

Welcome, we hope you find your stay serene.


The drink was on the rocks.

It tinkled

when lifted,

it whispered something,

it eased,

it lightened,

it waved softly,

and it said goodbye

to something,

something pressing,

something in the pit of my throat,

my heart maybe,

goodbye to something,

but I can’t remember what.


I took it out carefully,

cleaned and hung from a string to dry.

But when it came to pulling it,

I couldn’t.

I left it hanging,

and there it is a year later —

another turkey’s wishbone coming.

Partly, it was wishing right:

Would I? Wouldn’t I? Would I curse myself?

Partly, it was you:

who should win and who should lose

and how to manage that,

and what would we have to do, when it broke,

about dreams coming true?

It started out for fun —

a tiny adventure, a giggle,

a thing to make us laugh.

What happened to all that?

And when was it,

that it took over?

I wish I’d never thought of it —

of wishbones or of wishes.


Erich von Hungen is a writer from San Francisco, California. Currently he is involved with his YouTube channel called "PoetryForce", examining and confronting social issues as well as internal awareness exploration.

For a collection of short stories, he was the runner-up for The Joseph Henry Jackson Award. Six of these pieces were published by "The Colorado Quarterly". Apart from this, he majored in comparative literature at Reed College and did graduate work at the University of Munich, Germany. He has lived in France and Japan as well as Germany.

“For me, inspiration is not a matter of Athena bursting full-blown into and from the head of Zeus. It is not a retelling of something past, but rather, it is inviting the reader into a process that is absolutely current and now. It may begin in any way, but it is most characterized by a way of seeing almost peripherally, a way that manages to get beyond all that the viewer already knows and believes. It is a tiny view through a crack in-what-we-already-are to what we have not had the courage or insight, strength or imagination to conceive of. And the writing is then, an involvement with that slimness, that seed of freshness as a relationship, as a shared experience in and with it -- both it and the writer participating and slowly proceeding toward epiphany, toward what he could not have come to or understood in any other way. Inspiration and poetry itself are, then, an epistemological process that allows for, that makes a place for, that gives birth to The Real."


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