Alan Britt: “Last Chance”

Last Chance

Last chance to dream a wireless cactus
guarding the border between hope & despair.

Razor wire cactus.

Last chance to believe one is impervious
to common decency—it’s the static that
gets me—but conglomerate algorithmic
crude not so much.

I’ve withstood floods, shifting states of mind,
& expectations pinned like butterflies
against the lapels of Nobel Laureates.

I ate dinner with an extinct diminutive short
pronged mammal for millennia, along
with my Neanderthal cousins.

I soiled the onionskin pages of early,
modern & contemporary Christianity
& lived to talk about it.

But, today, I’m too exhausted to commence
with existence like a wasp in my doughboy
helmet, wasp that stung me with a garden
shed & kitchen drawer full of green trading
stamps that amounted to pretty much what
no one expected them to amount to.

Still, that’s not what I meant earlier; what
I meant earlier is that I’ve just spotted a
category five, & if I know what’s good for
me, tonight, I’ll surf moonlight’s crushed
roach tablets sheltering our military
graveyards until someone flips me upside
down like an hourglass & dumps me
into William Blake’s heaven or Arthur
Rimbaud’s hell.

 

In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited to Ecuador as part of a cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. In 2018 and in 2013, he served as judge for The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. He has been interviewed at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem and has published 17 books of poetry, his latest being Ode to Nothing (bilingual English/Hungarian: 2018); Crossing the Walt Whitman Bridge (bilingual English/Romanian: 2017); Violin Smoke (bilingual English/Hungarian: 2015). A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, he now teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.

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