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by John Stintzi

If Not, Then Perhaps


Note the chalk people

sprawling out in the black sun.

Count them. Think


how childish they are

to have such large, green heads.

Perhaps I drew them for you.


Was that childish? Perhaps

their eyes are yellow, or red,

or overdrawn. Perhaps


their eyes are the mirror.

Perhaps you're both the tenor

and the vehicle. Perhaps


not, though the lighthouse

on this Stygian shore is always

turning. Perhaps


I am the clenched fist

in the wishing hole. Perhaps

we've been misled.

I Know


Even those who know don’t

grasp the hink, the orn,

the in of the Ala’hairne.

The inchbird winks the hearth

as she proceeds to measure

the distance between knowing

and being unknown. A verb,

they say, cannot identify itself.

Throw must be Alice. Jab, Phil.

A breath out is a misdirection

of effort; a breath in is

a conservation of mystique;

the stable lung is full of horses

stamping, stamping unknowable,

stamping unimpeached and ort.

Even those who know still don’t.

Stamp must be Clementine or Sue.

John Stintzi is a Canadian-American poet, novelist, pisces, and ex-beef farmer living in Kansas City, MO. Their poetry chapbook—The Machete Tourist—will be released in the spring of 2018 by k | f | b.

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