#FlattenTheCurve: On Immunity by Tim Kahl

Flock_of_birds_at_Rome.ogv

The sky is falling, but the birds still fly
through it. I hear their regiments pass
overhead and wonder what their quarrel is.
Do they simply take orders from their own
blood? Their instincts serve them
like a parade serves a city.

Those garrulous starlings in the morning
seem to be making plans. They commandeer
the new recruits to battle the latest virus,
which my friends and I barely noticed.
There must have been panic as
the flock dissolved. Questions were vollied.
What bird reason did they apply
or was all the chatter about food?

They see us in quarantine down below
and frown on our obsession. Where was this
worry when the last wave hit us? they inquire
. . . or do they merely casually observe
and leave us to our knitting, our fretting
that we might suffocate on our lung pus,
a death as dignified as choking on vomit.

Our overactive immune system will do
us in, sunk by our defensive posture.
While we hunker in the bunker, the birds
are catching wind and halting their laments.
Good God, how the waterfowl are laughing.
They’ve seen this movie before. They
mythologize the last birdseye view on
the world. Everything gone and one god-like
vision floating above, a god who understands
death cannot be considered an event in life.

 

 

Tim Kahl [http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012) The String of Islands (Dink, 2015) and Omnishambles (Bald Trickster, 2019). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters’ Review, Indiana Review, Metazen, Ninth Letter, Sein und Werden, Notre Dame Review, The Really System, Konundrum Engine Literary Magazine, The Journal, The Volta, Parthenon West Review, Caliban and many other journals in the U.S. He is also editor of Clade Song [http://www.cladesong.com]. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He also has a public installation in Sacramento {In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth}. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.

#Immigration: Resignation Syndrome by Tim Kahl

Resignation Syndrome Tim Kahl

They just fall away from the world.
All the little Roma and Uyghur kids,
the boys being sent back to Kosovo,
they completely buy into Sweden.
They feel a deep pressure in their brains
and ears. They pound their fists against
the wall and slowly descend into coma,
their heads flopping down at their sides.
The feeding tubes enter through the nostril.
The mothers weep and stare at their hands.
They have no asylum, no future that can be
salvaged and finally made secure.
They suffer from poisoned hopefulness,
a crisis of existence at the age of nine
that makes them shut down, supports
knocked clear, their life story veering off course.
Such resigned apathy is not an isolated
act of the imagination’s force.
I have seen refugees from their working days
rage in their despair. Those lost in
little rural towns turn to alcohol and meth,
labor sacrificed on the altar of finance.
I have seen women whose nightmares
have come to life and surfaced as a threat,
men who left their homes to find out where
they might prosper best. I have seen trust
expertly pierced by speech turned to a point.
All manners of trauma spill from
an unsettled fate. It’s not the destiny
anyone bargains for to wander about,
dispatched from the land of empathy
where you’ve come to learn the language,
but it decides to snow some more.

 

 

Tim Kahl [http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012) and The String of Islands (Dink, 2015). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters’ Review, Indiana Review, Metazen, Ninth Letter, Sein und Werden, Notre Dame Review, The Really System, Konundrum Engine Literary Magazine, The Journal, The Volta, Parthenon West Review, Caliban and many other journals in the U.S. He is also editor of Clade Song [http://www.cladesong.com]. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He also has a public installation in Sacramento {In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth}. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.

 

Information on Resignation Syndrome.

The Luxury of Having by Tim Kahl

Swiss_goats_with_bells_close-up

For three days the household has no
toilet paper. I remark we could use
a dark sock from the laundry,
then return it to the pile.
My son wants to use a wool one,
but I intercept and suggest synthetic.
“Think of the poor sheep and how it
would feel if it knew.” But he wants
the angora, the fine merino, then
the cashmere. “Outrageous,” I say,
“an insult to every petting zoo you’ve
ever been to.” But he cares little in
this case for my righteous indignation.
He wants the best and only the best,
like everyone else,
to keep the stink off of him.

 

 

Tim Kahl [http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012) and The String of Islands (Dink, 2015). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters’ Review, Indiana Review, Metazen, Ninth Letter, Sein und Werden, Notre Dame Review, The Really System, Konundrum Engine Literary Magazine, The Journal, The Volta, Parthenon West Review, Caliban and many other journals in the U.S. He is also editor of Clade Song [http://www.cladesong.com]. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He also has a public installation in Sacramento {In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth}. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.