Pick Yr Own

By: Robyn Art



The pastoral is difficult
       —Rebecca Hazelton

On the way home from the organic blueberry farm, the kids crashed-out
in back, our hands all over each other in the way particular
to somewhere Not Here, high on Good Energy and the vision of Leaving It
All Behind—minus the gears gummed up by dailiness, the old body staggering back each week
from its corner in the ring, maybe buy local, start a ‘zine, invest in the curative powers
of Good Fats, the smug assurance of tinctures and bins full of grains, the bread hearty
and joyless, and calling a venue a “space;” to feel, for once,
maybe not so seretoninally-challenged, start with the premise that life is gruesome
and wrenching and go from there, the way, each spring, under a lukewarm April sun,
animals struggle from their holes and shake off winter like a codeine hangover,
a feeling of, not exactly, love, more like pleasantly-narcotized content like the gap between
Generally Okay-With-It and Seismic Unhappiness and what is love anyway but an unspoken
acknowledgment that ruin is imminent, just another non-oviparous species that licks
and eats its own, maybe, why not, drive separately to the T.G.I.F. bar
and pretend to be concupiscent strangers, make revenge porn,
revisit the old vows, the “have” and the “hold”


Robyn Art is the author of Farmer, Antagonist, which was selected by Jennifer L Knox as the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Chapbook Contest and was published in Spring 2016. Her full-length poetry collection, The Stunt Double in Winter (Dusie 2007) was a Finalist for the 2005 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, as well as the 2005 Kore Press First Book Award. Her newer manuscript, Amplitude, Awe, was recently selected as a Finalist for the 2014 Burnside Review Book Award. Her chapbooks include Vestigial Portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Scenes From the Body, and Landless/Ness, all from dancing girl press, as well as Secret Lives of Blow-Up Dolls (dusiekollectiv). Her recent work can be found in The Denver Quarterly, The Illanot Review, Juked, Bone Bouquet, La Petite Zine, TinderboxThe Burnside Review, Leveler, and WordFor/Word.