Poetry from Thomas Fink


—for J.S. Strifling

    Glittering                    smoke rises from reality roses. Even a bestselling 
agent     can’t               move a  dingy cellar.  Presumption of innocence is 
             strained:          don’t you 
           recognize            the baggage 
         on that                          carousel? 
       One can’t                            imagine a 
       permit                                 granted for 
        that murder                     weapon. Due 
          process aside,                the  defense 
             writhes. Sensing       what  it  has 
               accomplished, the rifle weeps.



        The kids                           don’t wear watches no more. Those phone-
computers    wipe                  their asses and everything. Drenched in pharma
                  ceutical               opera,  they 
               drag race                   on imaginary 
              highways                        &  skid  into 
             the palace                         of error. (No, 
            it’s not my                         cane & white 
             locks talkin’.)                   Reason  may 
              adopt a rhythm,           but  rhythm 
                  ain’t reason. Will the kids ever
                       locate   invisible   light?


                                                                          A fistful 
                                                         of mustard. Gulped whole. 
                                                        The fact spawning the occasion 

                                                           is often repeatedly force fed. 

                                                                    He feigns ill. 

                                                              To bypass depression-               
                                   inducing gatherings.     A sealed lid 
can be trusted.  Let fine                                             memories prevail. 



             Crises unburden folks of the 
  need to scrounge for “relevance,” of pressure to 
                                                 diagnoses. There’s no 

                   practical moralist on our staff; the lot hang 
                                       on by a strand of 
                              floss. Let’s recycle each into an 
                                    accountable doer. Yet  

   should any grow allergic to threshold, out they’ll 
tumble. Once the throttle’s regained, I won't let your 

    down. No 
         reason it 

           should sink.

A previous contributor to Synchronized Chaos, I have published 12 books of poetry– most recently Zeugma (Marsh Hawk Press, 2022) and A Pageant for Every Addiction (Marsh Hawk, 2020), written collaboratively with Maya D. Mason. My Selected Poems & Poetic Series appeared in 2016. I am the author of Reading Poetry with College and University Students: Overcoming Barriers and Deepening Engagement (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022), as well as two books of criticism, and three edited anthologies.  My work appeared in Best American Poetry 2007. My paintings hang in various collections. I am a Professor of English at CUNY-LaGuardia.