Ours Poetica by Franklin K.R. Cline

Ours Poetica
  a                            For Cole Swenson
When I stand close enough, it
peeks into my peripheral
vision. Step back and it provides
a smaller and smaller point
of emphasis. Look into me.
What we make becomes us.
Let me make a world around
you, to show you the world
around me, the shape of if.


It can’t be too big. This land is quiet, simple. No murders here. Not anymore. It should honor that. Flatter. Abstract. From bronze. Curved up a bit. Nonsense. Wavy, like the hills. Put it in the middle of the field. Something symbolic of what we believe about nature. Not about what we know. Put holes in it so when someone saunters up to it they can see the sky, the field. An amorphous shape. Humanity doesn’t really befit this land anymore. Holes and waves. Something to frame the view. Circular. Smooth, forgiving curves. Stolen land. Nothing jagged or cruel looking. Maternal. The suggestion of rolling.


Give me an atom the size of my head! You
become nature, lucky! If I name it,
they will come. If they come, we can
finally eat all the food that’s getting
cold. I don’t know about
me, but it
sure looks like I want you by the way
my hand involuntarily stretches your
way. I’m so bland compared to
yellow flowers, I’m hardly
geometry. The conveyor belt Earth
ain’t doing me any favors. I graffited
the stop signs in my neighborhood to
read DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ and now
every intersection is an art museum. My
first inclination is to use
words. The trees all look the same. What
goes into our head is what we see. Easy
peasy, no? The tree grows right into me, and you,
as we look past each other. I love your head, how it can so easily become.

About the Poet
Franklin K.R. Cline’s poems have been featured in Banango Street, Matter, Oyez Review and Word Riot. He is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin. He lives in Milwaukee with three cats and his wife, Rachel Kincaid.