Justin Chin

Three Poems

Persona 71

Dear Dears,

I have been absent from life & dreams & bottoms & things & again.
I apologize for looping back, putting my two cents into situations long gone.
It seems I’ve been listening to conversations from all their echoes.
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Why don’t you let me wash that filthy filthy glass for you?
That lipstick smudge on the rim won’t be easily gotten rid of.
As if it were a place marker to instruct: Lips go here.
Teena Marie said, “I got lips, lips to find you.”
Which is almost like admitting defeat.
Dannii Minogue, on the other hand, said, “Dirty hands, I demand.”
O. Look at all we have lost, all of us. Look at what we lose.

We are trained to connect the dots, draw lines from past to future.
Migratory patterns, trajectories, downward spirals. Lines all.
Would something like a ruler help us draw straighter lines?
No line drawn from or for me is ever straight.
My dear dears (as Bambi’s mother would say).
As what I said before fires & hunters & day.

Persona 85

The lady at the bus stop said, “Wherever there is water, there are rats;
and now I can no longer look at a lake or an ocean or even this bottled
water in my hand without thinking: Rats! Rats! People do that, you know,
they tell you things and then go away, go on with their lives and then
you can’t forget this one thing they’ve told you just to tell you, not
thinking you will hold on to it like this; like love.

And I said, “Stop it, Mother! You’re embarrassing me. What the hell are
you talking about?”

But Mother just screamed, “I am so thirsty! But those rats! Rats! Those
rats are like your love, depriving me of a cool sip of water when I, your
mother, am so dehydrated, so thirsty, so parched!”

Sipping on my Big Gulp Diet Coke, I said, “But mother, I’m dying…”

The Fisting Bottom

Soon, the carnival of me will be no more
than tossing sausages into an open cave.
The dark maw of Proud Monsters devouring
its shining arrogant young. For those who escape
the kill — the wily, the motivated, the schemers,
the pure (certainly purer-than-thou), the chosen ones,
the untouchables — the wreck is never far
from mind, never close at hand, but always sticks
to the back of the throat.
I have turned myself inside-out to turn
my understanding right-side-up or down; I have
wielded my weapon with cunning & grace & skill.
I have lived past the point
of impact; I have seen my disciples and my foes.
I have courted perfect loves and imperfect time; and still
I long to bloom. Rosebud
was never the name of my sled.

return to SHAMPOO 38