4 Poems – Patrick Kindig

fascinations: in the desert

there is a reason the aliens

chose here       the world

at its largest     in the sun

& in the rain the eye

looking            back

to the plateau’s face     to

the place where the earth’s rim

once was         & here

there is a way the body

dissolves         becomes

a dream            of contact

of touching lightly

the inner thigh             &

the eye

sheds it all       peels

the eggskin around it

away                the redrock

growing now               enormous

becoming         for miles

the only           real      thing


fascinations: cityscape 

he was looking for his father

& now             he is not

because of

the bathhouses

because of       the neon

& the eyes & the sound

the showers make

at the y             he looks

at the horizon               sees

a collection of teeth

if he throws his body forward

hard enough                he thinks

something will have

to come loose              have

to give


fascinations: molly 

yes                   he says

& yes               & yes

his eyes           expanding

& devouring    yes

the men            yes

the dancing      the bodies

dancing            yes

yes                   the skin glossing

yes                   frosting

with salt           yes

&         in the bathroom

yes       in the aluminum

stalls                each aperture

glorious           yes

gloriously opening

yes       yes       like a tulip

yes                   into lips

& bodyheat      yes       yes

there a part of him       yes

goes     must go           yes

yes       yes       &

he sees             yes

his face            in the metal

yes                   in the burnished

wall                 yes

until                 he exhales

yes       yes

& then             he does not

see it                yes                   yes

& then             yes

it is gone

yes                   yes

Walking in the City

 after Michel de Certeau

first the door & then

the doorway

& the street unfurling its black


there are of course

actual birds

as well as metaphorical birds

the birds the man remembers making years ago

of everything that passed

his window

& there is the flower shop

& its flowers

the yellow spilling from its mouth

the jeweler’s artificial palm trees

& barred windows

& closer to the river

the unicorn tavern

& the gay bar

the men smoking always

on its stoop

the man

catalogues it all

what is real

& unreal

the cars & carousel horses

the hands sewing the street up

with needle & white thread

the man knows

these hands are his

that most of what he touches

would rather not be touched

& in this way

the man is typical

licking a grain of sand until

it is radiant

he wanders from farmer’s market

to liquor store

watches the seagulls

swooping low

& when

he reaches his apartment building

he has a key that lets him in

& later

if he wants

he knows it will let him out

but now he slips his key

through the door’s brass eye

& his body follows it

he wants to go inside



Author Note

As someone who does both creative and critical work, my poetry and literary criticism often cross each other in strange ways. That’s the story of these poems, as many of them draw on the research I’ve been doing lately on fascination, and all of them speak back to the literary canon in some way. The showers in “fascinations: cityscape,” for example, recall John Rechy’s City of Night, and “fascinations: molly” places the experience of doing MDMA in conversation with Molly Bloom’s monologue at the end of Ulysses. Blending the poetic with the theoretic, these poems attempt to blur the boundaries between the present and the literary past, between criticism and poetic creation.


Author Bio

Patrick Kindig is a dual MFA/PhD candidate at Indiana University, where he studies American literature and writes poetry. He is the author of the micro-chapbook Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press 2016), and his poems have recently appeared in the Adroit Journal, Willow Springs, CutBank, Thrush, Bombay Gin, and other journals.

The author: Debra Marquart