Sentient Junk’ 

 Chris Barton

I was surrounded by light...’

                                                ‘You were enlightened?’

Far from it...
 I was surrounded by an endless sorrow.’

from ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ (Ang Lee, 2000)

the wind is slaying / set a reminder
to transmute to cirrus cloud / was i
more or less a poet / when i went
to the thrift store on mushrooms
/ or stood at the bus stop / reciting
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
in my head? / o corgis / o scratch off
lottery tickets / i walked past the Exxon
for uncopyrighted air / it’s so savage
to be the plum tree from childhood
& the barista at work at the same time /
poetry ie cognitive dissonance / the
birds chirping at 2am/  why isn’t
‘sound’ a synonym for ‘word’ /
if sound is the impetus for auditory
communication? / the birds chirping
at 2am/ i bet cave people had epic
imaginations / i bet they rolled in
dewed grass / awe-struck / smiling
up at the stars / i bet they gasp-laughed
at the first laugh a person had /
humid something / after the bright
orb disappeared behind the tall plants /
not to be moored to being fucked
existentially / but ebullience / to be
a shin bruising the kick / i sat on
the steps of the east fifth baptist
church writing notes on my app /
a cockroach on the handrail /
a blushing emoji / a drive through
pierced the distance / “what can I get you?”

Chris Barton’s writing has appeared in Hobart, Maudlin House, Funhouse, Vagabond City Lit and elsewhere. He lives in Knoxville, TN.



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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

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