Christopher Kennedy

Against Surrealism | Anima
June 9, 2015 Kennedy Christopher

Against Surrealism


The human heart weighs ten ounces, but I don’t know if it can float. I don’t suppose it makes sense to say I feel like the tail of Halley’s Comet, but what do you want from the truth? The day lilies are silent, but no one accuses them of being shy. Mother, are all your memories being trampled by a stampede of wild horses? I left the chicken in the pot so long it turned black. It’s too late for an apology, but I can buy you a headstone to match your husband’s. Though when the sun’s too bright it’s hard to find the gravesite; then you can end up on the road to the old sanitarium. I don’t know if a human heart can float, but in my cage of bones last night mine beat like a hummingbird’s wings. The grass is yellow from the drought. Some plants are dead and others are thriving. The lakes stand shallow. The rivers run weak. I believe my heart would sink.





I took my sex drive for a walk. I got some looks, the way a bald man in a convertible does. There was an alligator’s worth of adrenaline coursing through me. I stopped to consider the dangers. The dangers were considerable. I ducked into a diner and ordered the truth. The waitress asked my name. Death, I said. Sex and Death. She poured me a scalding cup of tar black coffee. I like you, she said and slid into the booth across from me. I drank the coffee down in one agonizing gulp. My eyes bled. My hands shook. The waitress nodded toward the door. We left arm in arm, her apron unfurling behind us like a white flag of surrender.

Christopher Kennedy is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, Nietzsche’s Horse, Trouble with the Machine , and Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death. His work has appeared in Grand Street, Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, Mississippi Review, McSweeney’s and many other journals and magazines.