Internet Poetry by Christopher Rife

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EMAIL: CNRIFE@gmail.com

Morning Song

In the right light this city
Seems to stretch on forever
Through fog and crisis
With palpable ashes
Stuck to the corners
Of our eyes and mouths.
The ghosts of buildings past
Revived and rising, touched by
Some kind of magic
Gray that settles over the tops
Of skyscrapers, a tactile nostalgia
Forming time almost vivid
With tongues exploding, curled
Desire creating some kind of ritual
To unlock waves and particles
From their heavy bodies
To illuminate the horizon.
We levitate when we’re lost
We laugh when we’re found.

Don’t Worry, Little Monster

after Dorothea Lasky

There is a monster who sleeps in your bed
Each morning this monster slinks toward your kitchen
He creaks open the refrigerator door
Steals yogurt and blackberries  
To eat while sitting on the hard wood floor.
When you return home you find your favorite bowl
Caked with white remnants and bits of fuzz
Scattered on your bookshelf.
Blue juice stains the pages and his tiny fangs
But you are not mad at your monster
The damage isn’t that bad, not yet
Maybe in a few years but hey, now
You invite him back in your bed 
You know if you tried to have a serious conversation
With him he’d roll away and place a hairy shoulder
Between you u
ntil you apologized, besides
How could you be mad when you feel
The vibrations as your rub his chest fur
When he crawls up next to you, horns poking
Into your sides, growling softy 
When his claws stay where they’re supposed to and
He only bites you once a night.

This February

I was in such a rush
I grabbed black socks
instead of my mittens.
Fitting. I’ve been feeling
wrong side up all season.
Scattered like salt across
my strap-on heart
keeping cracks
in my memory
from freezing over.
Swell.    Swell I thought
ass over elbows flipping
Through with hands half-built
Arguing with myself
picturing ice
crystals in my blood stream
setting myself
on fire to keep warm.
No promise provides
traction enough to keep
me from slipping up.
Flying through the air
bones careening
tendons careening
molecules careening
firing stylized onto
my surreal-to-reel
cutting the wings off
every snow angel.
Wondering when
inertia will stop
kicking back.
Hold fast through
the spinning
even if it throws
you you never
know where you’ll land
That is reason enough to
keep your fingers warm

Presto

There was a mutual feeling

Magic slipped and fell

They thought it would be better to watch it

Tumble than fight gravity’s purple

Grip, as it decided to lash out against them

The pull, the lash, the tense, the spark

All before the sound resonates

All before the sound resigns

Pulling out of what it created

A feeling was mutual, there

An agreement, bond, between what was nature

And the fantastic, oil and sand

Staying together, but, densities apart

A ghost will never dismantle itself

Only letting others do it for him

The grip, the spark, the tense, the pull

Only does it last for so long

Before the lash, the twitch

Echoes everything again

What’s that behind your ear?

What’s in this empty hat?

All I see is falling sand

and an act disappeared

Leaving blackness behind, and a feeling

Felt mutually that the mystery was revealed

***

A collaboration between Lucas McEuen (ToySkeleton) and myself.

onehundreddollars:

I am in print! I am honored and humbled to be in the newest issue of Denver Quarterly (and next to Pierre Reverdy no less!).

onehundreddollars:

I am in print! I am honored and humbled to be in the newest issue of Denver Quarterly (and next to Pierre Reverdy no less!).

It’s easy for Joe to lose

It’s easy for Joe to lose
focus and see double or
triple what others do. Plain

sight is beige, why would you
do that to yourself when instead
you could roam free and blur

the lines of where
wolf begins and ends when
the world could be your pack.

Joe drips against his mirror

Joe drips against his mirror,
steams up whenever someone
mentions this is the best shape

he will ever be in.
Feelings have fuses too
and a wick that lights easy.

His reflection steps off
the wall holding a box of
matches and a striking smile.

What we have and who we are

What we have and who we are
stand divided, a hide infested
by tiny black bite-marks felt

only after it was too late
and someone saved Joe after all.
He felt perforated by history.

A moon who waxes poetic
wanes into obscurity. Joe carries
his load, oh the cargo hold is full.