The Poetry Project

Two Poems

Christine Kanownik

The Grand Great Ghost Man

I was covered in water

the night I met my father

in the garden I was covered

in smoke it was cold it

is always cold but I’m so alone

Thinking of the Dr. I felt

the cold hand of death the

death spiral for the first time

they wouldn’t speak to me

they wouldn’t even look at me

In your dream you’re dead but

now you are alive and I bake

and ache and pine and

exist only in the mirror

what is the daughter of a

ghost? They ask for meaning

There was none only the

echo of a living person slamming

the gate next door

The Solution

That is where they live. I clear
the space for them
ask them to stay

What is better than a mother?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxA ghost mother

So I rinse it out. Wring it out.

xxxxxxxDid you know that mothers
only come to exist when there
is a lack

Must be nice

Grandpa just died

There is no host for Grandpa’s Ghost

He wouldn’t be here but there

was a potentiality

But now it the truth
xxxxxxis time
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxis exacting truth
and shitty human memory

I sank further down

I don’t see myself in any of

these photos -- so let’s fucking

burn the place down

Chance is the plague

I love crooks
because I am my
father’s daughter

xxxxxxI love nothing else
as a category

What to make when I
myself have been entirely
xxxxxUNMADE like the bed
xxxxxxxxxxxof disaster

Work from Boo: Ghosts and the Unconscious for Utopian Dreaming with Claire Donato & Adrian Shirk