Tuesday, July 30, 2019

For Your Consideration



















For Your Consideration

Sorry this love letter is written in blood.
Embossing feelings on white linen paper
makes people believe you are genuine.
The songs are all lost because the guitar
caught fire. I read the script ahead of time.
The ending involves floods and fires
and possibly food stamps. Protozoa
are not scared of the end of the world
so why should we be? I’m hoping
God hits a switch and we evolve in time.
My children buoy joy above despair.
The foundation of civilization is leaking
but look for the people with buckets.
My t-shirt says One Man Renaissance.
Trying is the best form of optimism.
How many different ways can I write
the word helpless? Or happiness? Or
real love? I miss being ten years old,
chewing raw spearmint in a forest alone. 
I miss the sidewalk soju trucks in Seoul
during monsoon season which is funny
since I no longer drink. The way you had
to hold your umbrella open even under
the tent to keep the rain from reaching
your clothes. The other side of the street
abstracted, lost in the torrent. Free live
minnows came swimming in a glass
for each table. One time they were gone.
My friend Neal said solemnly under
his black umbrella that it would be better
if the little fishies were here. I agreed,
as I agree now. When the rain thwacks
down on you, there should be a reward.
Let’s get lost in the downpour. Open
our mouths. Taste the fine print.

By Chris Banks







Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Art Lessons


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Art Lessons

I stand before this canvas which is really
only blue skies and a couple of small birds
attacking a crow and I think about where
did I misplace my eisel? I’m a so-so artist.
I had my own blue period. I sabotage
each sketch by mixing in words instead of
paints. To this day I forget who is the god
of not giving a fuck. I’m a cheerleader for
underdogs, nudes in paintings. Sadly,
my artist friends only paint portraits, some
watercolours, which is too bad given nudity
is the best subject matter for paintings, and
real life, even if we pretend we are not naked
under these clothes. The way to communicate
is with our eyes which has something to do
with art and sex and feelings. I’m always trying
to get to the other side of the canvas or page
or your body depending on what I’m looking at
even if I did major in bad career choices
instead of visual arts in University. This is
a terrible painting. I have not even added
the bee-stings or the bruises or the Garden
of Earthly Office Parties yet. Go easy with
your critique but tell me the truth. You look
a little sad in your clothes. Let’s get naked
while the paint dries. C’mon, I’ll go first.


By Chris Banks 

Monday, July 1, 2019

All Your Power




















All Your Power

Arctic shelves are retreating.
The tea leaves say diseases in ice
are waking up. This movie  
will end badly. I want to stop
firing blanks at the alphabet.
Your mouth tastes like red wine.
I misdialled starlight, crescendoes,
cells dividing, but here you are
making me feel young again!
Tell me your secret mission.
I will tell you mine. I’m late
for my heart-attack. One day
you are a moon-faced teenager,
the next you have crow’s feet.
Time smiles paring his nails
with a knife. What must I do  
to get a telegram from an anthill?
Sorting the full and the empty
is a lonely job. I want to talk
dirty and whistle into eternity.
Tail-gate the solstice with you.
We invented beauty so light
would have something to talk
about. I apologize. I botched
the translation. I won the prize.
The secret is saying, I love you
and meaning it. The barricades
are down. The war is over.

By Chris Banks