Home > Poetry > The Fixed Mutability of Things
Published: Wed Apr 15 2020
Wosene Worke Kosrof, The Inventor V (detail), 2022, acrylic on linen. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
The Fixed Mutability of Things

Book-thick comic. Spectacular fat.
Graphic marvel scaled up like
ghost novels, sword sagas,
and that serve-me-long adventure
with the Greek who killed wicked,
_             _ jookjook
_             _ daggerdagger,
ginnal pest of giants
who tried corking caves with stone.

A dim bookshop in Kingston,
brick and lumber district near the port.
Then, comics and labor were thin.

Above the door a sign,
_             _ no reading was allowed.

The lone clerk by the looking case
Creased a napkin for his nape,
shift to damp from paper privilege being soon.

He watched at me, sole custom,
from the asham dust on everything,
the only one in days.

Settled enterprise, temple to loss, I swept it. With gaze:
maps, globes,
fainting stacks of Life and Look,
cards in biased carousels,
wet encyclopedias,
ink but no pens,

and a beat-up thing that would’ve been
a silent platen press.

_             _ Beside it, trimming’s implement,
_             _ the cutlass reconcocted
_             _ to dissemble field work.

Inside, something fixed was cracking.
Mutable came in swarm of feel, not word.

In this his world I had it.
I held it skinned it
let transparent plastic flop my shoes.

See what's inside AGNI 91

Colin Channer’s most recent book is the poetry collection Providential (Akashic Books, 2015). Born in Jamaica, and raised there and in New York, he received the 2019 Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship from Brown University. (updated 4/2020)

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