4 Poems by Roy Christopher

Punk Noir Magazine

I.

BACKLIT

Backlit by burning bridges

Our silhouettes flickering on the floor

We sat on the suitcases

Of a dead love, packed and fleeing

Yours was a landscape 

I wanted to explore on hands and knees

Then mow down and set on fire 

Like scattered leaves and levelled trees

Our dear friend seemed to see something else

When she said, “Who knew we were

Already who we were going to be?”

So, we did it again, against that shared history

With a violence we had never visited 

We tried at last to make it last

Knowing it was already over

Yet somehow still aching to make it stay

After giving it an ending

Finally, we gave it up

Letting it burn with the rest

Close as ghosts until the last

II.

VIRGA

Nothing but bad news

On days like these

We’re not paying dues

We’re just paying fees

When everybody robs

It’s less help than hurt

They’re not creating jobs

They’re just creating work

It’s a longing, a pining

An unrequited sin

Like sun you see shining

But can’t feel on your skin

Reconciling what you want with what you get

Some birds weren’t meant to fly

Some of us trying to get away with it

Others just trying to get by

They always have an answer

Unless there are actually questions

I guess this brave cancer

Is finally coming to kill us

It’s a search ongoing

Unfulfilling within

Like wind you see blowing

But can’t feel on your skin

They claim they’re planting seeds

While we swallow pills for pain in the head

They’re really burying the leads

While we bury our dead

It’s a door you can’t enter

Not even a little

You’re not in the center

But you’re stuck in the middle

It’s a question still stalling

To quiet the din 

Like rain you see falling

But can’t feel on your skin

III.

RECKLESS

These days are thankless, ruthless, and reckless.

They don’t care about your wishes or your whims.

A week of them will crush you and brush you aside.

You can be clean, pure, good intentioned.

You can be mean, conniving, vindictive.

It matters not to the day, to the night, to the time in which you live.

You can work and scheme and hope and anticipate.

Where will you be when it all goes dark?

None of it will matter when the lights flicker out and the sun sets at last.

IV.

EXHAUSTED EXPLORERS

The grass has grown up around us

Blade by blade by blade

Like weeds or leads or leaves on trees

Cutting us low

We fight to translate this light

Filtered through clouds

And the fog of talk

A choked sense of sense

With the luck of thieves

And the arrogance of innocents

We are exhausted explorers

Of a world spent spinning

Roy Christopher is an aging BMX and skateboarding zine kid. That’s where he learned to turn events and interviews into pages with staples. He has since written about music, media, and culture for everything from books and blogs to national magazines and academic journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. As a child, he solved the Rubik’s Cube competitively.