Three Poems by Chase J. Padusniak


All the Reasons I Love You (or אֵיכָה‎)

1. Your Chihuahua.
a. Which I have never seen, but,
b. from what you’ve shown me, man
c. is (s)he cute.
(I forget).

1. Your hair.
a. Not of a natural color.
b. But we don’t much agree on what
c. “natural”
d. means anyway; I
e. mean, at minimum,
f. we can say that no one
g. has been born with blue hair, though
h. when it was gray, you might’ve
i. passed
j. for my beloved
k. grandmother,
l. who is not yet
m. passed.

2. Your tattoo.
a. You did it yourself.
b. Yes, I mean that one; indeed,
c. not that one,
d. mounting
e. the combs of your ribs, which,
f. inevitably I traced, but never really
g. managed to complete with my fingers.
h. No, that one,
i. the line(aments) of
j. your
k. ankle, plump, but
l. beloved.

3. Your song.
a. We did it ourselves.
b. Not so much

c. “we”
d. as the ineluctable “you,”
e. but(t) (and yes I love)
f. still, the one you sang me
g. —
h. Impossibly after you’d said
i. —no more.
j. You, Logic, sang “Mother Concrete”
k. and I kissed the air, my parched
l. cigarette of a mouth, and not
m. yours.

4. You.
a. This is, sure,
b. neither incomplete, nor really,
c. complete, but, instead, a
d. testament (both new and old)
e. to—what did
f. Henry call it?
g. More life.

5. Image.
a. I am he—the one—but
b. Not, no, no, no, the “only one”
c. who has known the wrath of
d. יהוה.
e. $,
f. however, knows this wrath
g. alone;
h. against $ has He
i. Turned his broad, olive hand,
j. Filled with sand,
k. Upon his kidneys.
l. He burns and
m. I will call
n. to mind:
o. a dog,
p. a tattoo,
q. a song, and
r. will see.

To a Lady’s Upper-Lip Hair

“Lo que no miran ven, y son despojos
suyos cuantos los ven, y su conquista
da a l’alma tantos premios como enojos.” – Quevedo

You, yourself preserve—
Mystery, hidden—
A synthesis for the ages.

See? A paradox of
Your very being.

Behold, phoenix—
Woosh, woosh—
Your death is life.

Preserve normativity,
Ripped from your roots—
Juicy, couture, et al.

Dominate! You, so
Natural: we save the
Earth, and you weep.

You, eternal reaper
And sower of hearts
As yet untried.

“Amantes, no toquéis, si queréis vida;
Porque entre un labio y otro colorado
Amor está, de su veneno armado,
Cual entre flor y flor sierpe escondida.” – Góngora

Catholic Anarchist Calisthenics

“Do not fall into the grip of your passion,
lest like fire it consume your strength.
It will eat your leaves and destroy your fruits,
and you will be left like a dry tree.
For fierce passion destroys its owner
and makes him the sport of his enemies.” – Shimon ben Yeshua ben Eliezer ben Sira

“Christ drove the money changers
out of the Temple.
But today nobody dares
to drive the money lenders
out of the Temple.
And nobody dares
to drive the money lenders
out of the Temple
because the money lenders
have taken a mortgage
on the Temple.” – Peter Maurin

“It is only through religion that communism can be achieved, and has been achieved over and over.” – Dorothy Day

It is the luke
Warm that He spew
S out of His mou
Th and the luke
Warm are on fir
E with feelin
Gs, blisterin
G with mortgage
S and collect
Ive ownersh
Ip of the

It is the mark
Ed that He ask
S why their crink
Led hands pass
Ed over his tan
Ned, broken callous
Es when He scream
Ed at them on
Bleecker Street.

It is the john
S fucking the mouth
S of those who dar
E to let tongue tryst
S with holiness ri
Ng out in blackened

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