Poems from the Fevers of the Mind Anthologies & 2 from Avalanches in Poetry by Kari Flickinger

Kari Flickinger – WRITER, ARTIST & STORYTELLER
kariflickinger.com

November seventy 2120. day:

you learn that

there are at least fourteen ways of saying the same thing
then more

fifty
three
hundred
seen beyond bricks and banks

what kind of bird will shut a mouth
through time and space if shoved far enough

what kind of body shall i wear
find it and i will fix my light to it

thousand and fourteen
dwelling under peat

but perception is a funny carri
-er and some explanations
may never find footing

that invisible host will hold me accountable
even after they find the boulder in my stomach
below the ligaments and tear
for this blurred recollection of how

, and the ways,,,

i have tried to tell what has happened

more boulders in this temple at the base
of my neck
i have become more rock than woman

when i was alive

but that was a long time ago now

nearly yesterday
maybe tomorrow


November seventy2120 night:

spent a few days
years lifetimes

climbing into obsession

the nerdy kind of focused obsess

of people for their work

passion someone once called it more than one
manysomeone
has that word drifting through their lexicon

i find it overwhelm

when people get serious. (never mention polite here)
taken to task

for not taking things seriously
enough i think

years

this energy
all of these implements that fill me
arehavebeenwillbe inconsequential

and after seeing the same
type of serious

energy go in

to such unimportant things, like rocks
and microwaves and not-quite
-lovers it is hard to take
anything seriously anyway

anything like everything, is useless


November 202020

I’m Raveling

My brain has become a time-bomb. Some days I see cracks
forming, the viscera collects along the edges. I see too many
pictures of a bird and I remember there is a book
I bought about fancy pigeons somewhere
in my house. Somewhere, I begin

cooing. Begin to excavate the stacks and swirl. The books
land around my thighs. I can feel
the sharpest one pressing, but I

only pile more books on it. I turn on the tv.
A woman with a tight blonde bob unravels over
the club music streaming in her car
as her grown son drives her away
from a psychiatric facility. I can feel the neighbors

above jump. Someone is vacuuming. Making tea.
Running the disposal. I imagine the pipes will
soon back up. We share sound and clogs.

Crashing or leaf-blowing presses me like books. Every
constructive image turns my head in a new direction.
Plumage color has meaning. Down. Source. Media
is social whether in a hallway or on a screen.

I recognize the language but feel irrelevant.
The overload is not anything I can express
to the people left in my life. A friend

tells me about a podcast where a man and a woman
discuss a horrible murder, and I
recoil
because my brain has become a narcissism device and I start to
write
a scene around the murder. I tell myself stories
about the characters I place in the
lack of context. I can imagine the knife
splicing
my knee, my wild elbow jagging across my left breast. Now I
must leave
the house for quiet, but I am afraid to leave the house for
quiet.

I tighten
the curtain, sure that
someone

is watching me from the outside. But I cannot
decide who.

My family members call and find themselves confused
when I overwhelm. They do not expect me to become
fragile.
I have never been a fragile creature. They try to weigh
how much heft I have held with no help before, and think
over-drama
fakecloneplant from an alien government.
I count my tentacles from my hiding place and wonder
how many holes have developed inside my brain.
Not self. And maybe

there is some truth. I am not myself. I am

broken vase iteration of me. With blemish
and break. Strands grey. Hands tire. My brain says
everyone hates.

She tells me to sleep.
Never
to get out of bed. She places me
on the couch. I place a blanket over my head
so, the person watching me from outside will not know I am
sobbing.
I want to staple the curtains shut. I wonder a hole in
the wall
is really a camera. I think about bowties. Not pasta
A man who is trying too hard at a fancy dinner-party. I fight

with the document about the structure of that last
sentence, of course, that is after
I emerge. I dream I fix a gin. Add lemons
to my ongoing grocery list. Garlic-salt. Ketchup.
The cheapest yellow mustard in the store. Can of tuna.
I think it is weird that I specify the can. Why not pouch?
Why is the can important? It is as if I am trying to
convince the list I am not as fancy as the bowtie.
Jar of Arrabiata sauce. But it is safe
under the blanket

if I cover the phone camera with tape.

I watch these actors kiss in a rainstorm through the weave.
and wonder how my life would change if
I could kiss in a rainstorm. I look
down at the rolls and creases in my body. I pretend
myself a mountain. Though I am more
a sun-bleached hill. I try to extract tears as
if they were solid implements.


Novemberfifteentwenty

writing exercise

I was standing in a mall parking lot looking up at the sky
at just the right moment to glimpse orange through clouds.

Election
make soup—cut
onions / peppers / ckn /
sliced end
off / pull husk / slice down
to the bottom—almost
again again
again long
on side & cut down—watch

all the layers fall into tiny separations

Book launch
book launch
pandemic
tired. afraid
afraid to go to the store for yogurt
unemployment
cat wakes me up after four hours of sleep
infected rise
like some zombie wave of coughdeath
afraid I am being watched
all the time then my sinus sets off and
I Sudafed to sleep

something unbalances deep in the gut.

balancing / diving

I have frozen at the diving board since
I was a kid, there are so many possibilities

in that deep water and I have always frighted
pushed away

connection really, more
than love, it is people. calmed

myself w/ slow rocking. I think

people do not know what it is like for mass like mine to hit water
from any height and forget frozen water how

did anyone ever traverse frozen water? who was the first
person to try to dip their toe in the freeze and say
hey guys the water is fine!

come on in?

much less have the mettle to dance and swirl the surface
that might not hold?

what trust / shadow lives in that kind of blind belief?
I do not trust my body to move me
in regular ground. if I cannot trust open

water / closed
water / regulated
water—how should I be

expected to trust frozen water?
how does water freeze? how do I?
have I frozen water?

November Fortið

people I love keep saying goodbye to me
in ways too subtle to keep me around

ghosting

past creatures divine a future where there is no them
before I can know they are absent

there is something
miraculous about catching a neighbor’s light

as it flicks off in the dead of night

in an apartment complex
other people’s lives swirl around

in a pandemic any one of the people we see
collecting their mail every day

could wind up dead
yet somehow

some ghosts do not understand
death means forever

And 2 poems from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

His Woman is Free 

My enemy is blue
building books
from deep
shaded nests - from
the silence of a rising
falling chest - curling
hollows of breath
holler from the
grasping future.

My enemy sends winged
winded messages
as sound funnels
into my eclectic sphere.
The atmosphere
of curbed longing is
affecting.

I hollow out for him
Bees perch
piston-petal covered
legs through my ribcage.
My own legs lack
hair for the first time
in a year. I feel too young
as they build comb.
Honeycomb me
of all
honey-leave
this stinging
slow hum
down the pane
of the hairless leg.

How quick the cold
loss of love comes.

My enemy is no good.
He shows how I am no
good too.

I Have Tried in My Way

This corvid keeps plunging
her lungs to the break - to the tongue
she alarms her songbird friends.

Invasive sound warns
in ever-expanding circle-chirps:
darling, that chill on the cusp of
morning is brimful sickly love.

But song
bird falls
into Autumn
the way
most do
in spring.

Spring is cotton-sweet on the sticks
of old birds. Blue gum. Kernels
clasped in her claw.

Change twirls around the edges
of September. Feasible feast.
Insurmountable mountain.
Thick leaves. Swell. Breathe.

Feathers
flicker.
Sun-winds battered
Arctic
thrust. Is
it this

shape of Fall that twists her?



Bio: Kari Flickinger is the author of The Gull and the Bell Tower (Femme Salvé Books, December 2020). Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the SFPA Rhysling Award. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley and the Community of Writers.


Interview  with Kari Flickinger from the Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 Anthology

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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