the poetry that matters

Connor Stratman

Connor Stratman lives in Chicago, Illinois, where he works and attends graduate school. His work has appeared in Counterexample Poetics, Pinstripe Fedora, Scythe, Etcetera, Outsider Writers, and Otoliths. His books and chapbooks include An Early Scratch (erbacce press, 2011), Some Were Awake (plumberries press, 2011) and Volcano (Writing Knights, 2011). He edits the online poetry blog The Balloon as well as the esoteric blog project Vatic Aphasia.



The bits that survive me

or this winter

will also fry

and attack

our memories

which chop back at them


Those chimes outside


to his neighbors

saints candles

stare back

at me, my

chest tightens

with the decided



So dangerous

this table

smell this

glass and

tell me

it’s not snowing



Minutes (2)

The long day is box office poison,

the door incidents grew frozen

dandelion deep into my ankles.

O the face, I went for it. I

saw the bottle shrinking and

the shrapnel tripling into gates.

The habits that stuck with heads,

bang! Corridor armors will hide

me where the blues can’t. This

is devil music, hidden candles

push twenty units by the end

of the swindling years of dread.

Minutes (Born)

The tree is no life,


the energy channeled

through hollows

and stream

(where bicycles

clam up in

little circles)

split open

for all to

see and touch

with fur hands

where we’re

torn out

and thrown

in the ice

kept white

and silent

Minutes (Break)

As if nothing was worthy

of your feet, I stood still

and waited for the walls

to glue themselves back

together. They never did

and we had to do it our-

selves. What you command,

and fuck, and chill into

the hollow rings of hands,

you bring to me as dances,

plopped against a wall

for the way it waits there.

Looking forward, the coma

of dollars and jungles,

are the new ways to please

or to ask how the boxes

burn and dig into grounds

where the chaplains beg.

Minutes (Charge)

After the storm, they went on their way. A bright sun eclipsed the fragments of ice on the windows, shrubs scrapped onto the alleys, backgrounds of dirt tripped on brick. Ten to two and the street clears. The morning denies the charge. The plump smoke of my breath crawls off the coats, Sheridan Road defecting into new skies, new planes of sound. A splash to cover up the creaks of the lake.

Listen and I’ll tell you a story.

Listen and you’ll hear the silence of growing trees.

Call him. You’ll see. Your voice bleeds like oils of incantation. This fable is the thread of the violation, the call of the carrions. If you don’t see it now, it will appear. The shroud of your mumbles will grow to clangs of the past.

Minutes (Heart)

In these: postures

minutes all the bald covers

trim as film Little

and big

the sadness curves

to my body

clicking the locks

and swerving

into the wake

of the white wreck

The water carried

me to you and yet

I kept floating the sun

caught you

pulled your hair

doves and carrions


to the hanged


on the coast

No I won’t force this


of me watching

you (standing

on you) I am not there

this time

Minutes (Please)

In time, we were afraid of cities,

of diluted dates torn off hinges,

ceilings that collapsed as faults.

What do you see? Samples

of catastrophe, collision and

fogs. Stirs out memory, hills

where the dog army surges.

On the hill, you feel tired

as the sage birds turn their

heads and stare eyeless

at the larger mountain.

The show attacks, voices

from the mountain spit

and the globs mount

into the carpets of our

room. White shadows,

this is real only when

your lips curl to the door.

Minutes (Rise)

Coming home at all moments. The ice retreats.

A flicker of local lights, lost along the shoreline.

Say that it’s like a pillow. Your head rises.

Minutes (Shine)

On his back, a sin, a uniform,

tricyclic contusions and rapid

shifts of his eyes. His marker,

it seems, is the edge of the gurney,

a journey into the amazons

of touch. His hands, drunk

with sex and paper, crawl

onto the pedestal and rise

towards the lightning, his

cramped lake space postures

in the likeness of a goat.

This staring shine, this

encomium of nightfall,

is but a native of these

parts. You won’t see

this ice fall on the other

side of the building, you

won’t find the measures

so precise.

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                                                                                                                 June 18, 2012