poems by C.A. CONRAD 

 

   from WIDTH OF A WITCH

 

     Pluto.1
 

                              the pearl starts over a
                              new grain  of sand we
                              are  going  to   find  in
                              the planet of blue
                              a   freshly  written  eviction  note
                              gone fishing for better tenants a
                              sash hanging off the horse
                 told the story       without you
the kind of children we deserve who rob us in our sleep
                                                we never need to believe in anything again

 they take our car and money and head for the beach

 
 

Pluto.2
 

they requested a happier poem
the distinct sound of a backstab
                       up in the stomach getting a fix on the
                              signal leave vomit on the
                      seat and tell them we are
                     not sorry for any of it poke
                       surrounding haystack in
                   search of a                 slow song
                                         
excess is haunted by our poverty of
                   benevolence but we grab a broader patch of
                          shoulder corrupt the smallest eyes in the
                                                              freshly printed poem

 
 

Pluto.3  

                               judged by the way we fall in
                                   love in the bathroom in sweating out the
                                 misery entering the fine blades in harmony
                              chopping all of our best to distribute over the
                                     whole goddamned rotted beating muscle

                                            even when we have
                                         forgotten where we are
                                            love         finds us just
                                                       sticks us
                                                                  sobbing with shame
       inside a glorious steaming pile of the musk

saying no doesn’t matter you can’t say no for long

 
 

                 Pluto.4
 

                                                                         we win from time to time
                              abandoned above adaptable positions of the losing

we risk everything in thinking we can navigate maverick of the green carry a
                                                                                    bottle of wine into the
                                                                                    pumpkin patch looking

                                                                          for a new way to
                                                                             angle the old songs
                                                                             sell me a ticket to
                                                                             your dance please

                                                               I believe in the strength of
                                                     poetry a little stone in the moth
                                                     helps balance her on my breath


 

"These poems are part of a longer series titled WIDTH OF A WITCH.  They are resulting from a (Soma)tic poetry ritual, “MARFA Poetry Machine in 36 Things.”  I was in Marfa, Texas on a Lannan Fellowship where I did 36 things a day for 36 consecutive days.  Things like honoring a living poet at dawn, infusing breakfast with Yoko Ono’s music, working out by following along to Mary Wigman’s WITCH DANCE video on YouTube.  I also carried a sweet potato with a purple glitter skirt and giant violet eyes with me wherever I went.  The ritual is dedicated to my friend, the amazing artist Jason Dodge."

CAConrad’s childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift.  He is the author of eight books of poetry and essays, the latest ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Wave Books) is the winner of the 2015 Believer Magazine Book Award.  He is a 2015 Headlands Art Fellow, and has also received fellowships from Lannan Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Banff, Ucross, RADAR, and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; he conducts workshops on (Soma)tic Poetry and Ecopoetics.  Visit him online here