A Dialogue: Three Poems by Samuel Strathman. Two Art Works by Robert Frede Kenter

Spacing Out

Standing at the sink,
a thought microchips
its way into my head.

Of all the things –

all things –
all things –
things –

Baby Ficus reaches
with a human hand
attached to a human arm,
opens a door in the kitchen.

Blink –
and the tree vanishes
into a herbaceous cloud.

The plate in my hand slips,
and you would think
it would break,
but spins instead –
like a dreidel,
like a cymbal –
stops to crack,
an egg with a hollow core.

I step on a shard
but feel no pain.
A cerulean beam shoots
from my chest,
the sound effects
are a spacecraft landing.

The blueness sinks back
into my chest.

The sound disappears.
the plate disappears.
The apartment disappears.

Pure whiteness.
and in that whiteness,
a kid claps his hands,
then blink –
an old man
does jazz hands.

Blink –
and like a game
of The Sims
in fast forward
everything pops back
to the way
it once was

except there is a wedge
of ceramic in my foot,
and the little tree
is sans arm.

My plate never did spin,
but shattered.

All the doors
to the kitchen
are closed.

I trail blood
as I trudge
to the bathroom.

The Ficus shakes
her head disapprovingly,
“We’re out of band-aids.”
her cold reminder.

Keep it Nitro

After the movie “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” (2019). 

Cold dark trepidations
of the sea – underwater
or the past twenty hours.

At least there is enough
oxygen to remain loopy.

Detached tusks poke
out of a wreckage –

A maiden dangles
in the Great White’s mouth,
thrashing corpse bride.

S-save the last dance
for me, you bastard!

My leg wound
is smoking a coyote’s
head out of its orifice,
borne astray.

The porthole grows
gnathic, slipstream
to the tandoor.

Stay close, Wiley,
you’re my only hope now.

Spring Aubade

Orange discs throb
behind my eyes –
remain still, curtains closed.

After ten minutes,
it comes time
to feed the fish
swimming torpedoes
in the rain-lit garden,
aquamarine glow.

The fogless valleys
will be full of rainbows
by afternoon.

Quiet in the meadows.

Farmers test the air pressure,
fingers to the wind.

Art Works by Robert Frede Kenter
1. Spring, a drawing.
2. The Man: Outlier #2, a painting.

Samuel Strathman @_strathman_ is a poet, author, educator, and editor at Cypress: A Poetry Journal.  Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Acta Victoriana, White Wall Review, Train, and elsewhere.  His debut chapbook, “In Flocks of Three to Five” was published by Anstruther Press (2020).  His second chapbook, “The Incubus” will be published this fall (Roaring Junior Press, 2020).

Banner, Layout, & Art by Robert Frede Kenter Tweets: @frede_kenter

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