March 9, 2017 10:30PM
The bird freezes midair
crashing through the pane
as if this wasn’t a metaphor.
Where was I the night
the STATUE OF LIBERTY went dark?
Lying in bed trying to make
a hundred dollars stretch a week
in my mind—
unable to sleep for other reasons,
a slight sting
after a late-night piss,
a sugary moonglow drifting
through the room,
the collar rattle of a flea-covered
Shih Tzu and oh yes,
the generalized fear
of our embattled country—sigh the news.
Which is how I imagine a stone bird
exploding through my window,
as I finally close my eyes.
Tricked Half Hours
Another foamed night has poured me out
stairs remind me of turning back
their moans as I trickle across planes
spook the grass.
Raccoons watch me tumble and flip
the light switch three times—
I am most tweaked
in these tricked half hours
of which there are infinite
between daylight shout
and scramble to throw on clothes.
My art is that
I can coax a toilet into a purr
and snakecharm the patient dog
making my sneaks and chewing my rotors.
At times I feel like a naked king
circumnavigating my terrors
with a midnight erection—
and now at the end of a trip
I return to my dark country.
If this was Tokyo or Mexico City
I might find myself amongst wheels
of arms and feet, even as night is crushed
in neon, even if I spoke loudly enough
to ignore myself and accentuate
my drunken speeds of speech and step.
I might be okay, looking out at the pods
the hotels, the warm buildings that vibrate
and glow. I could be a hum and churn
outwards, with a feigned shyness
of being danced. But this is winter in Kansas
and I am good and sleepy and damned.
Chance Dibben is a writer, photographer, and performer living in Lawrence, KS. His poems and shorts have appeared in Split Lip, Reality Beach, Horsethief, Yes Poetry, Atlas and Alice, matchbook, Hobart, as well as others.
Artwork by: Emily Wiethorn
Emily Wiethorn (b.1991) is a photographic artist currently based in Lincoln, NE where she will graduate with her MFA in Studio Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is an Instructor of Record and holds a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. She received her BFA in Photography from Northern Kentucky University. She has most recently been awarded the 2017 SPE Student Award for Innovations in Imaging, was a Critical Mass finalist in 2017, a finalist for The Texas Photographic Society’s National Photography Award, and is a featured artist in the spring 2018 issue of PDNedu. Her work has been published online with Musee Magazine, Lenstratch, Loosen Art, among others. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in China and Italy. She works primarily in self-portraiture where she explores notions of feminine identity, societal constructs of femininity, and self-discovery.