Two poems by Michael Lynch
As some of you know, apt is part of Aforementioned Productions, a small press that publishes collections of poetry (and soon, prose too).
We’re immensely proud of our first author, Michael Lynch, whose collection, Underlife and Portico, is this year’s winner of the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize from the New England Poetry Club.
To celebrate his award, we’re posting two poems from the collection this week: Apse and To a Blind Goldfinch. We’re so pleased that Michael’s book is getting the attention it deserves. We encourage you to buy a copy. And, for those of you who still haven’t picked up the latest issue of apt, for the next five print copies sold, we’ll throw in Michael’s book for free.
First the zero-bpm slouch
then the suddenly articulate
limbs carving broad fans, limning
the only story: Tensile haunch-stretch
and gift of lip. All promises bowed
and beestung or g-strung and barefoot.
Demons burned with stubble slouch
in mirrored alcoves murmuring apocrypha.
Pink neon scumbles all edges soft
as vaseline on glass, teary with alcohol and dry
ice, a gauzy white halo for every face
backlit and rundled with small stars.
These rites are makeshift, tricked
in plastic flowers, glitter, compromise.
To a Blind Goldfinch
The rest scatter in a blear of black
contour and covert, an unkindness
of small chevrons flung to distant limbs.
Circumstance has palsied you to perch,
still gulleting seed and cocking
the frail turret of your skull. I approach,
see the rugged pits that were your eyes
and remember the child abandoned
by playmates. Blind man’s bluff:
how eventually the weight of solitude
made him pull back the scarf and find nothing
but grass and the gray face of houses,
how he returned the blindfold to see
if he could bring them all back—sympathetic
magic, a first desperate pagan gesture.
And how he went home, taking the story with him
and became a man who sifts out thistle
and calls finches to the feeder and finds
you blond and helpless as a shuttlecock
headlonged into night, a yellow inclusion
in a murk of polished stone, semi-precious.
Michael Lynch is the author of Underlife and Portico. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Switchback, In Posse Review, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and elsewhere. He lives and writes in Boston.