Two Poems By Christopher Phelps

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

Flow (Go)


carrying the carton
I fantasize

about dropping it

and beating the odds
by breaking

every single egg —

to feel the relief
of none to save.

Occasionally I hope

all hell breaks loose
and I can take

my weight off this

flimsy door
holding back that

last word — lingering

in a lost ward
the warden

is the prisoner of.

Jamais Vu

That which one cannot
Not see

Which the first eyes
Saw — 
 — George Oppen

Those don’t look like your eyes,
three years of me told Mom — 
as she cradled her aging baby

all afternoon, I studied
my first unfamiliar.

Eyes are loci
of whatever we have now
in lieu of souls, and so

when at three eyes
turned into what I

would later try to describe
as apparatus, or aperture, or
photocells: machine

much too unknown
to love, I panicked —

I remember that panic
in the midst of warm
arms in the midst

of home, I remember
when here deglazed

of its complacence and
became, somehow, there — 
and there raised the question

where, where, I pled
are your eyes?

Christopher Phelps studied physics and philosophy at MIT. Recent poems appear in Cimarron Review, FIELD, The Gay & Lesbian Review, The New Republic, Meridian, and PANK; and are forthcoming from Boston Review, Cutthroat, and New York Quarterly.

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