Con Messinger

Con Messinger is a poet and translator living between Iowa City, IA and New York. She is the author of the digital chapbook “The Love of God” (Inpatient Press, 2016) and “The Land Was V There” (89+/LUMA, 2014). Her translation of Juana Isola’s chapbook “You Need a Long Table Behind a Pile of Firewood to Have Lunch with Your Children in Ray Bans” was recently published by Monster House Press.


shaping, rounding, contouring, a locker, a red locker
no – that’s what they said, tomorrow is what they said. 
aren’t you damn pleased with yourself? I mean. I mean
what? can’t I still be sad forever with the body of my 
choosing? isn’t anything as good? well it was something
like looking at a past moment, you were walking down a
hallway but it’s moving – thanks for being here, the 
floorboards say. sure, I say. I remember not being here
or I don’t remember being here, I was just brought here
five minutes ago, and that really is not much time here
so, in the minutes between you bringing me here and here
being this place, I’m supposed to feel something, so here
have a sandwich, sit down rest a while let us see, here
are some sins you have committed in the last week, here
take this and drink, what about your novel? are we here?
has anything happened here yet?  

so, well that’s a day. I saw you 6 (six) minutes ago, so
what? those were great, what were? the six minutes where
you saw me or the other minutes, are these six minutes
called six minutes of absence of your own absence of not
having to be alone with yourself, that could be called an
absence of loneliness, la vide is not a vacuum it is a 
void, a void and a vacuum are very different things are 
they not? me not seeing you is a void whereas a vacuum
would suck me into you which is more difficult to explain.
how do you figure it? So, yes, let’s call these six minutes
minutes of absence, let’s call them that. 

on the other side of farpoint station, that would be our
place, I’m just waiting to watch snow with you on the other 
side of the room come thick or thin, this soup is too thin –
all this waiting to find half a word, or the other side
of me, hah, silly silly. It begins with your chest vibrating
I want to start tomorrow, I must, who left you in command?

who died and made you green? I did, from my amethyst tomb
we went in as children in the forest, there were horses,
I tried to dig in the latticed soil my hands stinging from
bits of quartz, what is this a novel? I mean I meant to 
express this moment in childhood to reflect some comment
in the past. was midwinter day written in a notebook or 
a typewriter? it is not midwinter but it’s snowing outside
and I don’t have a shovel. I don’t know where the shovels 
are kept I’ve been using the same excuse since 2004. what
will it take to be happy? I bought bananas. I’m not supposed to.
I’m not explaining this well. I went ice skating around this time
last year, after we got bagels and lox and I thought you
were gay but I was wrong. 
in forgetting – I see you – I look at you and I see you – this 
is the only form, the only thing I’m trying to do really. I
look at you and I can only see you once, I forget you – once
I forget the old you – there are two yous – more than one 
body – there is the insistence on many that disturbs, that is
disturbing, as is being a subject or whatever, try keeping plants.
where are my friends? see that’s part of my problem too, I 
only learned having a coke with you is a pun on Kenneth Koch
yesterday, prior I just thought it was some sort of weird title,
oddly low brow for O’Hara who seems so fancy. Izzy
told me. I’m not good at figuring things out on my own and 
now there’s snow and grey sky and what the hell is jouissance,
I mean what color is it, have you ever felt it, are you still
playing in the hay bales.

Also, Warhol has that line about a Coca-Cola being a gesture of solidarity between classes. 
Everyone drinks Coca-Cola. 
Warhol is a fool.
no sadness = no golden hours or a cup lying on its side in a field—
I remember your couch, as in there are some parts of memory that 
you cannot order as many times as you try. that car is silver. it
is a box. it is not a car. those windows across from my window are 
almost a stained glass but they aren’t. I cannot find my phone or 
a reasonable place to live. let’s give ourselves the moment of this 
tree letting down its leaves, do they go down or up? that car is 
blue. up is green and down is blue. now what? you had thought that
by some point we would be able to create a registry of emotions. we
had thought that at some point this would be possible. this would 
seem to be a trajectory one could take. right. instead, what if you stay home 
all day and become a demon? I mean to say how hard is it to let a 
woman and her dog live. there is a bag carried by the wind, how
hard is it to not leave her in the middle of the street, I turn and 
tumble waiting for some sign for you – the bed isn’t made, the car is
old. and oh great, it’s another tragedy. when I say it like that, 
I don’t mean to be apologetic – I am sitting here. 

she sits in a beige field with her big dog. why is this so difficult?

I went to see more birdfeeders the other day, Sunday, rows of
them but the deer started tearing them down and eating
them. they tire of watching things move, if we can call wind 
movement, we can. still nothing. even the grass in a field. it’s
infuriating, we can. we can nothing. and we still do. my apologies. 

in my dream last night, I left my bag on the Amtrak, maybe
while going, while, going somewhere. this means 1
of 2 things. you are doing too many things. this does not mean
anything else. I try to get my bag back but cannot, it is gone
the doors close but the Amtrak doesn’t have that kind of doors. 
isn’t anything as good? it’s a lot of back and forth. it was long
ago, I was with Diana in the dream. maybe we were in Montreal. 
I’ve never been.