Ansley Clark

I AM A BAD SYSTEM

Culmination of genes heavy with
recall          as one would harbor          some known light memory though it is

no longer true          or hot blue sky out of fear that it will never
recur I am           anxious about resources

I have in this life learned many and varied
ways to hate myself          from which I choose depending on the context

gray figures hover in the periphery
though I do not believe in determinism

or free will          though I believe in complication
the shadowed green of a dark lake          raw memory’s network

how          what’s the word          claustrophobic          rectangular
to discover there is a structure over everything          like science fiction

beyond which is hard to imagine
a line of white mountains forms in air

sometimes an outside reality bleeds through a person
and produces the same disorientation as two moons

or a recurring dream about a man in the dark yard
trying to get inside my house          an intensity constructs          feeds on itself

I should be a better worker
but I cry too easily

my stomach          does not look the way it should
I tell my leg to run and          aching machine it locks

I tell my face to compose itself and it reveals
a system of strong pink sadnesses

my apartment also is a system
of monetary agreements          changing like clouds

I lack stamina          though worry will probably be
what gets me in the end          wouldn’t that be funny

I am less real than I know
all white plastic space like a bad government          all emotion like a soft difficult thing


ANSLEY CLARK lives and teaches in Colorado. Her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, and Typo. She is the author of the chapbook Geography (dancing girl press, 2015).


Issue Six
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