Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"History" and "Dispeller" - Two poems by Justin Runge

Justin Runge is a poet from Lawrence, Kansas.

- Tell us about “History,” the poem that was selected for Best New Poets 2013.

- For this poem, I set goals: to write a love poem objectively, a story molecularly, and an autobiography in which I barely featured. I also wanted to buck some obtuse tendencies, so I made sure that each detail felt naked, unworked. There's only one figurative moment in the poem, which feels like a small victory to me..." From an interview given to Jazzy Danziger. 

History by Justin Runge

Here is what I’ve collected: He set fire to the front lawn. She learned and then forgot the guitar. Like all daughters, she was a vegetarian. He was sent to school on the mountain. She would run through the mountain. Their siblings stood in the way. The mountain was beautiful but merciless. Its trees stood like chaperones. He took to botany. She slept in the haunted room. After the growth spurt, he was a natural athlete. She worked at a fast food restaurant. Both left without diplomas. He sat in a bunker, catching moths. She would walk to a payphone in the center of town. They would solve crossword puzzles days late. He escaped on a motorcycle, as in his favorite songs. They married on her birthday. Her hair was never longer. She left a home imploding. He had a television and a frying pan. They made mistakes—pepper oil, poison ivy. They had one child, then me.

Dispeller by Justin Runge

In my hometown, I am absence of home. I am shortfall of awe. I am defog. Wiper blade raking a glaze of rain. I am the kitchen light Mother kept on. Unlocked garage. Evening intersection’s non-traffic. I am what bends air so that it, tuning, forks. I am bed made. I am unchange. Ghost uneasily roomed. Yearbook yearly removed. So I am removal of book dust. Carpeting, cleaned. I am no apple tree. I am quietest stair climb. I am far-off mowing. Hypnic jerk. Reason for moving.

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