Listen to a reading of “This Is Not Goodbye But You Should Go” by Chris Philpot.
This Is Not Goodbye But You Should Go
My heart is a bathhouse where Bette Midler is singing.
She is singing only songs with the word Goodbye in the title.
Teach us how to sing, Bette Midler! Teach us how to suffer
better! Between us, the vast desert of America is
getting vaster. What should we do with all this sand?
Let’s build an island so that we have a place to wait for things
to catch fire. Let’s buy a fog machine and pretend we’re in
San Francisco. Let’s kiss until we don’t have lips
anymore. Isn’t it funny how each heart is so different?
Your heart is a carousel that won’t stop burning.
Listen to a reading of “Western” by Chris Philpot.
It’s kind of like watching a movie
about a place while
in that place. At the saloon, young boys
disguised as upright pianos are waiting
to be played. Outside, a chorus line
of cicadas presides over
the reverse transubstantiation of wine
into water. This is the year
of the drought, meaning everyone’s
thirsty. Meaning tumbleweeds rattle
at the edge of a movie set. This
reminds you that anything can make
itself seem realer than it actually
is. It’s kind of like a bull
riding a mechanical bull in a bar
outside Tucson, AZ and
About the author:
Chris Philpot is a child of the American West. His poems and translations have appeared in Beecher’s Magazine, (un)civil, and elsewhere. Currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Maryland, he lives, teaches, & no longer wears his retainer in Washington, DC.