O Fortuna


​A quivering in the dead brush, ghosting of a velvet flute

holds me close

scales up and down flickering wings through vanishing time.

Upstairs, a rock-a-bye atmosphere tinged with birdsong

my father in his soft shirt smelling of leaves and smoke

his song of wilderness flowing unfinished.


Mother is downstairs near a ruffling of curtains

rounding her shoulders at the sink, reddening knuckles

in her perishable world.

She worries as she hums, vigilant

over quotidian life and lump-free gravy

as my memory blurs into abstractions, a cigarette's final spark.


Here I lay

doubled up in the pitched tent of now, memories unfurling

captive to a glassy panache of my own Carmina Buranic notes

smashed flutes surrounding dammed up 'O Fortunas'

everything to experience in this precious life 

driven into words of carnality

notes of love singing with such intensity

that there's no stopping the glass shattering.

​Perfect Pitch 

is something I don't have.  Seriously,

throw a handful of tones into the air
and I'll invite them into my mouth

where it's wet and warm


swallow them into the riffs of my body

sort of the way a dog discerns whiffs

grasses, not knowing one from the other

​inviting all in as discordantly as they come


suddenly and suddenly each off-pitch

in the endless now

like how the bathroom mirror sucks in my face

in overtones resounding, always irrevocably


until all I'm left with is this beneficiary

of my father's ever present eyes

mother's mouth minus the loud orange lipstick

and a hand-hewn signature pissed off look.



More Poetry at Author's Den

My poems are in THRUSH Poetry Journal, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Requiem Magazine, The Bark, Utmost Christian Online, The Weekenders Magazine, Cyclamens and Swords, The Camel Saloon, Big River Poetry Review, The Artistic Muse, Poetic Pinup Revue, The Legendary Poetry Magazine, The Rusty Nail, Pyrta Journal, The Eunoia Review, Autumn Equinox issue of Mused, Broad!, Blue Lake Review, Defenestration, The Montucky Review, and Emerge Literary Journal.

Copyright 2019. Christine Tsen. All rights reserved.​

Sherlocked

She’s obsessed with him
as we watch
her favorite man in literary history
it’s a very well made production by the way --

It excites her that his character is Aspergerish
has this fast way of talking, just as she does
and isn’t it so funny that no one can keep up
with him, or her, no one. Not one.

But I’m Watson, I can see that as I watch
her face, her amused bemusement, to her
I’m the commoner slow speaking 
made-with-all-the-ordinary hinges and bolts
mortal, but she –

she’s able to memorize dates, hairs 
on a pant leg or the Fibonacci series, prime number
calculations in her spare time
all the shadows, only taking what she truly wants
from the pantry or whichever cases challenge her

turn up the volume! I’m getting 
old and I’m trying to lip read
Watson’s hot, I like Watson’s
sweet nature, but she

she’s Sherlocked.

                                        xo

​​​Fortissimo Fourth


I was rolled along in a red barrow that year

bare summer feet and a big bass drum

my father smiling alongside

firing up whopping booms with his winks

my mother buzzing about

​with her beehive of bufonted beauties Ba Boom!

​Beloved vespals vaunting vast wisdom and virtuous wiles

Ba Bam!

As I rolled along, of great import Boom Boom Boom!

And to my dream of a shining future Bam!

As a full size bass drummer Bum Bum!

Until we reached the popsicles at the end

and oh I did love popsicles, save only orange

with that disgusting juice swarming around my tongue

I'd be deeply hurt in a very loud way if

they gave me orange

and then we'd wander back home

arm in arm, popsicles sticking us together ---

Somehow time grew scarce

and that big bass boom