Size / / /

Frank hated the 9 miscarriages
kept in jars of formaldehyde

Mother burped each one

spooned peas against the glass

melon heads snapped open and close

she rocked them all at once in her arms
no room for Frank

"you are too big for a jar my child
you will betray me the rest of your life"


Frank hammers
carrots
all day

it works

the earth
can't
leave us


Frank's sister grew long blue feathers

she said it was worse than cutting teeth

she spent a month screaming in the cave
pushing them out

Frank would lie in bed at night
touching his own back

crying

praying it wouldn't
come to him

but the day his sister flew to the house
he stood by the window in awe
giant blue spread coming in across the lake

he heard the hunter's shot before she did


Frank remembers
the shirts of buried generals
flying in formation
over schoolyards

blowing wasps from sleeves


Frank grew crows for hands

it was a difficult childhood

at dinner during prayer
his crows flapped
excited in the name of the Lord
"FRANK! KEEP STILL!" Mother hollered
"did you wash your crows!?
did you wash your FILTHY STINKING CROWS!?"


when Father died
Frank was found
straddling him
his crows picking the seven
gold fillings

 

Copyright © 2001 CAConrad

Reader Comments


CAConrad is a poetry stevedore living in Philadelphia. His forthcoming books included COMPLETELY FRANK (The Jargon Society), and advancedELVIScourse (Buck Downs Books). He is the editor of BANJO: poets talking and he co-edits FREQUENCY MAGAZINE with Magdalena Zurawski.



C. A. Conrad's childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He escaped to Philadelphia the first chance he got, where he lives and writes today with the PhillySound poets. He coedits FREQUENCY Audio Journal with Magdalena Zurawski, and edits the 9for9 project. Soft Skull Press is publishing his first book of poems, titled Deviant Propulsion, available Fall 2005. He has two other forthcoming books, The Frank Poems (Jargon Society) and advancedELVIScourse (Buck Downs Books). He is the author of several chapbooks, including (end-begin w/ chants), a collaboration with Frank Sherlock. You can see more of his work in our archives and at his website: CAConrad.blogspot.com, or contact him by email at: CAConrad13@AOL.com.
Current Issue
20 Jan 2020

Corey slipped his hand into the puppet’s back, like he had done many times with the doctor who made him talk about Michael and bathtubs and redness. His breath and stomach squeezed whenever he reached into dark, invisible places.
By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Justin C. Key's “One Hand in the Coffin.”
But I thought of apple skin clinging to a curve, yet unshaped by apple-sorcery.
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Jessica P. Wick's “Sap and Superstition.”
I love the idea of representing folk stories and showcasing the culture of my country in a different way.
There’s this emphasis on the impact we have on the world, that I saw in a lot of these stories.
Friday: Small Waiting Objects by T. D. Walker 
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 28 Oct 2019
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
Monday: Aniara 
,
Load More
%d bloggers like this: