The Underground Sonnets

Frank Guan



The train is entering the station.
My obvious and difficult vocation
Possesses wings
And signs
That all read out
Of work.
Just know that somewhere in Atlanta poems are created
And somewhere deep in Georgia poems are destroyed.

New Aztec mythologies: the cool
Knife of the sun is evening
Light and all that we can think of
Are the thoughts of others—the subway
Life, the pregnant horse of stars...
We just get married.




Eventually the newsprint
And the government
Will fade. Thrive, copulation,
Let. The Kennedy replied,
Balloons inflate, and folded
Over in his chair. And everyone
Became balloons to better kiss the sky
Except the canyons stuck with last semester's

Ochre, black, and burnt
Sienna crayons. But
March is brackets, right? Aren't canals
Blue rulers?
Yes and no, the Kennedy replied...
And we assumed him into heaven.




I'll witness all the springs, each summer, every fall,
and when the winter comes to draw its snowy pall,
it gets the
planet to its proper self.
Express, Express,
Express, cried the conductor.
But he didn't mean a thing by
it. So the Northern California February ate the mist:

The course—“Poetic Justice”—it lingered
in the mind's ear, where to
teach well means to
love the black, clear earth.
The Cossack czar was too good for decapitation...
The broken coffeepot of glass could finally speak.