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2 Poems || Chris Shipman

Mother I’m sorry


your backbone slid


down the doublewide

kitchen wall


and surfaced from the sea of

your sigh


he came on purpose

to box my imagination


of what I should be



should be carved


a lithograph of incubation

buttressing the hatch


if lithograph was

another word for a sore

version of self


myself the residue

an exit

into the world which maps


without knowing what

direction to flower


according to the apple core

you created


a Disney world dose

of make-believe blankets

the want of a family


to be to be to be


ravenous as 1000 mothers

who find me smoking


pot on the church steps

and everything else

not a kid at all


not ten fingers ten toes

but a manger




than any baby can king



Advice to My Brother About How to Forgive Our Father


Dear brother the trees

in our father’s lungs are hung

with white sheets


rip them down one by one


by fist or tooth or sighing child

by pictures by eyeholes

by murderer’s mug shots


if you stop to question the moon

it’s already too late


to be a sun in that black

absence be a sum of fears of

being a son of his breath and


close the gate behind you


you strange lumberjack

you digger of drunken night

you forgetful fuck you go


into the monster’s frightening

daylight like I have done
Shipman is author of Cat Poems: 17 Wompus Tales and a Play of Despair (forthcoming from Kattywompus Press), Romeo’s Ugly Nose (allography Press), Human-Carrying Flight Technology (Blaze VOX), the chapbook I Carved Your Name (Imaginary Friend Press), and co-author of the chapbook Super Poems (Kattywompus Press). Latest poems appear in journals such as H_NG_MAN, The Offending Adam, PANK, So and So, Spork and TENDE RLOIN.