Friday Jun 21

AndrewPDillonPoetry Andrew P. Dillon graduated in the University of Tennessee’s inaugural MFA class. His work is forthcoming or has appeared most recently in Gamut, Rivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks, Public Pool, The Human, Potomac Review, and Connotation Press. He taught for a few years, but now works in healthcare in Nashville, TN, while completing his first collection, currently titled Captain for Dark Mornings (after a track on his favorite Laura Nyro album). He is tragically committed to the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, and Tennessee Vols. He strongly supports the use of semi-colons, em dashes, and the serial comma.

Apologia of Having No Clear Answers

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. And
I’ve developedcoping mechanisms.
Like me, you could move knurled steel ’til anxiety’s ground to chalk for
trenchant grip.
You could crawl to the crack between bed and wall to feel weight against
your back.
If you’re in to self-pity, echo Prince’s lines as a meditative object—in this life,
you’re on your own.

What does it mean to live a life? For insight, I recommend residence above
the atmosphere,
and a new language—since words are so tied up in assumptions about the world;
and, free of solid ground,
you can establish your own orbit. If you manage to settle among satellites, you’ll find
left and right relative

only to you. But this won’t help you endure a life viewed as an A-to-B endeavor.
So, I recommend
extreme isolation. You could live as far out as the Kuiper Belt, among matter
that refused to coalesce.
When eons without light opacify vision and magnetize your blood’s iron, allow
yourself to drift

toward some fertile body waiting for the spark of life. One concept you should
develop is that of yourself
as a physical object occupying space. By which I mean: Get the fuck outta the way.
If none of this is clear—
if you need some terse mantra to cling to—I’d refer you, without context, to Tim,
who told me:

It’s not that there’s necessarily something at the end. I just gotta get somewhere.
And I’m going.

Imagine a City

I was reluctant to call myself a poet until I learned the secret of memory—
the senses are vectors to the past.

Poets envelop the unknown with words like love. When I say,

the night you fell asleep in Jae-kyeong’s bar,
I carried you back, under the Chuseok moon,
through the steam of a street vendor’s
ddeokboggi, to your Seoul apartment,

parts of your brain dedicated to vision, motion, and smell light up.
It wants you to be there.

Most likely, you also smelled my lemongrass & grapeseed oil soap, felt my hands
wrapped around your thighs and shoulders,

your head tucked into my chest. The brain builds bridges so
our words can bend time. Like you,

Seoul is only as far as the word aloud. A metaphor is the same as action. Love burns
into us as we experience it.

The body becomes permanent with the praise of hands.