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2 Poems || Chas Hoppe




You’re asking me to recall lost years. But the memory is an old movie house. I’m the audience. I’m aware of the mechanism. I hear the locomotion of the projector. I see the dust dancing with moths in the beam above my head. I watch the light ebb and swell with the operator’s spent arm on the crank. I see the images jerk, pretending nothing else exists between the frames. But of course that’s not true. You can’t call something an illusion unless you’ve got something to hide.


I get all of that. But I see the train coming right at me. How can I be anything but afraid?




The newspaper gives hints, but they were too caught up in iconography. You know, all body parts and body counts. Doesn’t make for good reference material. And the archival footage doesn’t help. Like a soundstage, you can’t see it any other way. But later, I bet I’ll catch you craning your neck to try.




I’m on pills for anxiety right now. You’ll want to know that.




I don’t understand the question. Does the law even apply in a voluntary closed community? Ask the guards how many people still leave. They’ll tell you. They read more magazines than the world can publish.




I’m infinity in the stairwell. And I belong. I do this long enough and I find the library. They don’t expect anyone to bother looking for it. And they’re right. I never am.


The burnt-metal specters of quantum particles linger, as if to say doubt has a place here too. But something doesn’t smell right. They play soft focus tricks with the background and foreground. They say we are sympathetic. They try to impress me with tesseracts and invite me inside. They say I’m too concerned with dimensions.


They beg explanation.


I get that. No one ever said obscuring the answers was easy.


But there’s something else they’re not telling me. Something about fourth walls and locomotion. Something I left on the cutting room floor.






In the basement digging through musty boxes

you handed me Tea for the Tillerman.


Weeks later I heard “Father and Son”

for the first time, and every time


I think I’m missing something somewhere else

I’m only missing you, the impressions


of soundwaves eroding with time

tree rings in reverse waiting for me


to tell you that I’ll listen,

to tell you that I’m happy.


Chas Hoppe pays bills as a writer and editor, and pays respect through music and poetry. His recent and forthcoming publications include TAB, Oyez Review, A River & Sound Review, Pismire Poetry, and Columbia Poetry Review. The Diegesis, a collaborative poetry collection with Joshua Young, was released via Gold Wake Press in February, 2013. Follow Chas’s exploits at www.chashoppe.com.