Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Kristofer Collins: This Vicious Year

Perhaps when we are gone we will enter into

the beautiful history, as O’Hara called it, but

I fear it’s vastly more likely our current civic

disgraces will forever keep the door barred.

All the coins I hoard that never find the palm

of an outstretched hand, every daub of color

so indistinct and ill-defined the museum goer

never notices, every clear sky day you can’t

be bothered to look up. It all goes on the cosmic

ledger. I may be lousy at math, but even I can see

how the tally goes against us. Ah, but here in this darkness

and anonymity I am comforted. This jukebox here

brim-full with throbbing, inconsolable hearts

is a badge on the breast of our better graces.

Patsy Cline and Ronnie Van Zant may have

punctuated their lives in the breakage of gravity,

but nightly we listen as they rise and take

the heaviness of the day with them. Billie Holiday

plants a bloody, endless forest and demands 

we climb our way out. Up there we loose

a torrential rain of tears, but who’s to say

the resultant flood isn’t cleansing? And Elvis,

my God… The common belief is the universe

is cold and empty and this speck of dust

is the only game in town. And what have we done

with this mathematically improbable honor?

What will you do with the next hour, the next day?

Here in this bar on such an ugly night in this vicious

year whose will be the next aching voice, the last

absolutely precious thing we can all agree on?


Copyright 2019 Kristofer Collins.

Kristofer Collins’ books include The Liturgy of Streets (Six Gallery Press, 2008).

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2019 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , , , .

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