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Five Poems from Quarantina by Kit Robinson


                                   For Eric

The new normal is touch & go

Short-term mentality by long-haul malaise

Hard to start over when it isn’t over

Wind whipping flagpoles to a fare-thee-well

Bumper cars pushing random limits

I see what you mean says the one in between

A festival of life and a dead ringer

Similar symptoms seen in spectacular cities

In the time before time

The incredible invisible inevitable

Was always already probable

Synchronized swimming in retrospect

Data analytic afternoons

We were warned

Time flies when you’re having chow fun

“A man is never lonesome when he’s eating”

Some situations are just that

Relations to be gotten out of

Mining new beginnings from the fading past

While directing local traffic under the hat

Alive and well after all

Re-establishing links in slo-mo

A drink with my birth sake

Dinner with the soon-to-leave-town

The all-about-memory series is coming up

Sky the color of a shirt

Be that as it may, Happy Birthday, Captain Sensible!


AUGUST 22, 2021

                                   For Ahni

My gears are stripped

By holding contradictory ideas

In my head

The continuous present

And impermanence

So I have some coffee

And a hit of weed

And make some CDs

Of our last gig

For Izzy, Sandi & Sue

You are foxy

I am in a daze

The overcast light is steely

With smoke and ash

Ask me anything

My mind is open

Up to a point

At which point

I can’t talk right now

I’m gone

The phone rings

It’s you

A gift from Nick & Laura

A room is an open space

Both yours and mine

The heart of the matter

Spreads itself out

One love

And we still have time to rap

To the tune of the train



Regular beat of waves on beach

The long tempo

As of days, weeks, months, years

The rhythm of life

Stood up against what is not

In the fog an open question

Ants communicate by simply walking around

The slightest breeze disturbs those tiny yellow leaves

While motor sounds rise from the street

In case you were thinking of something else

Relaxed and alert

I hope these letters find you

Going about your day

In that other place

The world of our inspiration

Tired I am

And restless as the wind

That turns the page

On our morning ritual

With waves for background music



Generations of note takers

Document the centuries

From just offshore

To somewhere deep in the hills

A maroon den

The moon is half there

Of a Tuesday morning

The waves stroke the strings

Of that exquisite instrument

The green planet

Bee on a bud

Birds chatter

The garden is alive

An order of being

Hand sewn

Windswept pages

Enter the interim

The long swim

Between here and there

Children’s voices

Birds or words

Which was it?

Every time

The fire came on

It felt good

Wide awake

To possibility

Just within range

Or out of sight

Footsteps on gravel



Not a key change

Tempo stays the same

Same players

And yet

Something changes

The piano

Goes on forever

The rhythm section

Stays in the pocket

Time stretches out

The faces relax

The bodies move

In time with drum & bass

On the floor of being

In case you hadn’t noticed

How much goes on

When you least detect it

Variables fleshing out possibility

In the structure of life

Happening all around

Words arrive

From other languages

Repeat themselves fearlessly

An assertion of truth

Born through repetition

It’s the same all over

We recognize each other

In the community of song

Circling back

Since time immemorial


Kit Robinson

Kit Robinson is a Bay Area poet, writer and musician. He is the author of Quarantina (forthcoming, Lavender Ink), Thought Balloon (Roof, 2019), Leaves of Class (Chax, 2017), Marine Layer (BlazeVOX, 2015), and 20 other books of poetry. His essays on poetics, art, travel and music may be found online at Jacket2, Open Space and Nowhere. He plays Cuban tres guitar in the charanga band Calle Ocho.

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