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Chris Anderson

The Fights

Hugo and Wright like to watch the fights

on TV, jabbing along the way my dad did. They

were poets but they liked blood, too,

the way the heads sometimes snap back.

Reading about this the other day

I realized I don’t like this sort of thing anymore

and never did, really. I don’t know why

it’s taken me so long to see this. Hugo liked to tell

the story of how he and Wright once gave a ride

to a young woman after a reading.

She was trying to tell them only Jesus matters,

only Jesus, and after a while they stopped

the car and threw her out. They’d had enough

of that shit. I’m that woman.

Sitting in the Garden

If I bake a cake I am proud of the cake.

If I am given a cake,

I am grateful.

My problem with taking magic mushrooms

isn’t becoming one with the love and the light

but thinking we can do it whenever we want to.

And what about the rain? The labradoodle?

The man who flipped his dirt bike

only wants to walk again, and I can’t promise

he ever will, however hard he prays.

Rejoice always.

I am late to see a friend

and this is what he texts me:

I am sitting in the garden.


Chris Anderson is a Catholic deacon and an emeritus professor of English at Oregon State University. He has published a number of books, including three books of poetry. His latest book of poetry, You Never Know, was published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press in 2018.


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