Cento (“To The Polestar”)

To the polestar I leave my alien regalia.

To mercy I leave whatever.

Any fool can get into an ocean,

but it takes a hero to get out of one.

Wind chimes off-key in the alcove.  

We are a smear of obscenity

on the lake whose only peace

is a hole where the moon

abandoned us.  Sometimes

the speeches are so beautiful

it hurts.  At night before I go

to sleep, I am already dreaming.

I examine my feelings without

feeling anything.  Consider the hands

that write this letter.  I will consider you,

as you twist in a rapt mechanical dream.

Destroy yourself, if you don’t know.

If a rifle fires a shot in the woods,

whose body first hits the ground?

In a wailful choir the small gnats mourn. 

Where are the songs of spring?

In a cloud, in a tree, now I live. 

I have a seat in the abandoned theatre. 

I wait the hour when gods have more to give. 

Cento Attributions:

Peter Gizzi, Jack Spicer, Tess Gallagher, James Wright, Jane Yeh, Matthew Zapruder, April Bernard, Frank O’Hara, John Keats, Mahmoud Darwish, and David Koloszyc.

Author of two poetry collections, Any God Will Do (Carnegie Mellon, 2020) and The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and three chapbooks, including Empire of Dirt (above/ground press, 2019), Virginia Konchan’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Boston Review, and elsewhere.