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Virginia Konchan

Against Nostalgia

I am a master of none, save for
the white mutations of dream.
Items leak from my grasp.
I have a mouth but cannot scream.
Dear compass, dear variorum,
I want the lion share
of whatever spoils
you deign to drop.
The process is alluvial,
sifting through sediment
to find a saltwater pearl.
In my off hours, I drowse
behind mosquito netting,
lured on by the metallic moon,
aphrodisiac of oysters and champagne.
This is the fourth state of matter,
storm cloud of senescence threatening
to break and flood the village again.
History is redux:  fungus stippling the rock.
Where am I now, you think, now that
you are no longer thought.  You come to me
in visions, peeling back the bark of a tree.
Loss and compensation, compensation
and loss.  I am healed of indecision.
Do not cast your aspersions on me.

Cento (“Name me transient”)

Name me transient, name me obligatory.

Name me hindsight, name me plenty.

The theme of this place is savagery.

The river’s mouth needs something.  

It’s a drama.  An interrogative sentence

wells up inside me. Have you grown

accustomed to a lifestyle

no one can provide?

She had no need of fox furs.

She had ceased to exist.   

No one ever asks whether flowers

should be permanent.

I should be permanent.

Name me lost wages.

What does it feel like

to have a voice that carries

without making a sound?

Count your fingers.

Count your calluses.

Count the miles to the state line.

I will sign my name in Cyrillic.

I will shut my eyes like a sad man.

Name me modesty, name me vexation.

They said it would hurt, and it does.  

This is the black, shot with blue.

Count yourself among the counted.  

That spark reminds me of you.

Konchan - Cento
Virginia Konchan.jpg

Author of a poetry collection, The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and three chapbooks, including Empire of Dirt (above/ground press, 2019), Virginia Konchan's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Boston Review, and elsewhere.

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