by Patrick Kindig
“Tell me: what happens when you build a life on waiting?” This is a question buried a few poems into Dry Spell by Patrick Kindig. The chapbook opens with the want of difference, the halting desire of young person seeking more—perhaps a metamorphosis, perhaps love. It’s very much a push-pull between thought and reality, desire and hesitation, all with a sense of imminent transformation. Through it all—the dark rain on the horizon, the voyeuristic bus ride, poems rooted in muscle and bone—there’s a thread of fire. “What happens when this waiting quietly ends?” (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
I start small: a pair of knitting needles. You
counter: two tickets from last Thanksgiving’s
Lions game. I raise you my grandfather’s
pocketknife and you see me with the Star
Trek coffee mug you stole from the neighbors.
We each take a shot of Jäger. Things begin
in earnest. I offer every sweater
my ex ever gave me, the Chopin waltzes
on my bedside table, my entire collection
of Thomas Mann. You offer jazz,
a crate of Bitburger, one small red house
on Plymouth Road. I offer a hand
and you offer a bicep, I a tract
of clavicle and you a smooth white
hip bone. We begin to discuss services:
laundry and lock-picking, copyediting
and espionage. Both of us offer ourselves
as translators. Neither of us wants to think
about what we might need translated. We
are shedding our lives like leaves in winter and
suddenly we are both naked, skin and muscle and eyes
the size of continents, some worlds heaped
between us, neither of us yet satisfied.
You believe what I want is your heart. I believe
you are mistaken. What I want from you is as simple
as waiting: carve from the cartilage in your ear
a mirror. Hold it before my mouth
and listen closely to what I have to say next.
ABOUT THE POET
Patrick Kindig is a dual MFA/PhD candidate at Indiana University, where he writes poems and studies American literature. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Court Green, BLOOM, FUGUE, and elsewhere.
ABOUT THE COVER ARTIST
Nicci Mechler splits her time between exploring, telling tales, and printmaking. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with a pack of roomies & rescue animals specializing in troublemaking and joy.