Three Poems from "Quarantina"

by Kit Robinson Issue: Spring/Summer 2020

Pandemic Rhapsody

The planet is a prison
Each household a cell
We swim in a sea of unknowing

The planet is a forest
Each household a tree
We gather in the shade of many branches

The planet is an ocean
Each household a boat
We search for a mast on the horizon

The planet is a city
Each household an apartment
We sit by a window of opportunity

The planet is a text
Each household a sentence
We study the length of a day

The planet is a dream
Each household a sleeper
We fly high above vertiginous landscapes

The planet is a wildfire
Each household a hearth
We burn in the cauldron of our desires

The planet is a war zone
Each household a battalion
We must reinforce our supply lines

The planet is a desert
Each household an oasis
We cultivate gardens of enlightenment

The planet is a mountain
Each household a stream
We flow in time to the sea


Elliptical Canopy

Don’t call the police
Make the best of the least
Life is a beast
Without surcease
But you can make it
You don’t have to fake it
When the shit comes down
Shake your booty around
Move like a zombie
Never be lonely
Mix up the tracks
Dance on the cracks

Why oh why
Mistakes take the cake
Pie in the sky
Soul on the make
You’ve got everything
One could ever want
Except the key
To the holy font
Whose waters bathe
The roots of trees
And poets write down
Lines line these

Throg’s Neck Bridge
Mad as a hatter
Daniel Boone
Whatever you like
Nothing in the fridge
What does it matter?
Come back soon
General strike
Whereabouts unknown
Next to nothing
Like a dog to a bone
That special something


This Poem

This poem is incredible
You should immediately memorize it and tell it to all your friends
If you read this poem over and over
You will be better able to read and understand other poems
Any poem!
Life goes on and off
Death goes off and on
Shit happens
Just like in this poem
Which is like an elixir or vaccine

Sometimes this poem is like overhearing a conversation in the next yard
A moment of relaxation
In your otherwise busy day
Other times it’s more like thinking about something
Then thinking about something else
It never stops
Even when interrupted by a passing train
In that sense, this poem is immortal
In so far as it is always on the move
To no particular end

When you dream a poem
The poem is often odd
Weird, asyntactic or wild
This poem is totally normal
It teaches one how to live normally
Under the most abnormal of conditions
Put one foot in front of the other
Is how the ancestors put it
They even put it into this poem
So that anyone would be able to see what this poem of our life on earth is made of



Kit Robinson

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