Two Poems
by JONATHAN HOBRATSCH
I.
I Wouldn’t Go To Your Party So I Wrote Me in Mine

My clogs with Velcro were the conversation
starter. It was a party thick of pickelhauben
perforated with intermittent top hats
and yodeling. Some spoke of terraforming. Some
of cities hovering like my ideals in a skin-
threshing atmosphere.

I leaned looking down from a votive balcony
as if I were an awkward fashioned god. From this
moment I think I should be careful what I say when
I speak aloud. Someone’s buttons pulled them
to me and I smacked them with unvocalized salutations.
He fell ungraceful, like a graduation cap.

At this point I stepped out of my body as a translucent
protean  woman—oh, so beautiful—I was on the verge
of marrying myselves. In the unlighted segments of this
party I shine—between the guests—somewhere
in your eye—the bottom of the vase—the nothing
before the doorbells chime.

Somewhere a chair is calling my name. So I walk
to it before throwing it over the railing. I’ll apologize
to it later. I toasted myself in this thought before
I was all-too-cooked and the long blond sun
with flowing locks came and ate me
up as if I were finger food.


II.
Peach Garden Oath

I was somehow pursued by a statue
of a peach tree that was followed
by three famous Chinese generals of Han
origin.  All were on horseback. All chanting
an oath.  My destination was wherever
a fallen star chose to show itself. Often
an ill omen in Chinese history. I knew
I knew what I knew and what I knew was
that if I kept going long enough
then eventually these heroes would die
off. One would lose its head, another done
in by his own men, and one would die of
sadness. This last, the worst of possible
deaths. A star fell and Lord Guan’s head
turned red and popped off, vowing revenge
and departed into mist. I turned on the road
and headed back from the point of the chase.
The tree followed, followed by two
weeping horsemen. A star fell, the larger
hero’s eyes widened, two holes opened
in his stomach and he departed as shreds
of paper. I kept forward nearing Chengdu, the peach
tree statue at my heels. A weep loud enough for us
all caused the stars to tumble till the weeping stopped
and a man fell into a pile of leaves which rolled off
like tumble weed. The tree-statue unfortunately kept following me.


JONATHAN HOBRATSCH lives in a windowless basement in NYC. He teaches English at Pace University and works for Huffington Post.