ANDREW KUHN

Ghazal: Lose his place

Where he grew up his father taught him that his face was all
He had to lose, and that he had to fight or lose his place.

And that was true, he learned, and with no stomach for it
Still he learned to fight if not to win then not to lose his place.

In school the letters danced across the page.
In shade or sun he'd try and try again, and lose his place.

He was the sort of fellow, when the ration lines collapsed
Into a mob, he would not elbow forward, but fall back, and lose his place.

He met a girl who liked him though, and said as much, and touched
Him so he felt a sudden fierceness not again to lose his place.

He worked like demons maddened by a dream of home and saved
Enough to hope that he could buy and never lose his place.

She felt his fear and left him for a strong, dull man. From then on
He kept moving. Without one, he could never lose his place.

 

Ghazal: The point

The famous lighthouse flashed upon the famous point.
Our presence in that weather seemed beside the point.

Great combers raised and opened up like maws and we were awed
To see a freighter almost foundering, laboring to round the point.

Returned obscurely chastened to our B and B for biscuits, sherry,
Attempts at love, and learned that we were sadly past the point.

The day broke fresh and wildness stirred without, within us
And we quickly rose and tramped out towards the point.

The path we'd walked the afternoon before had edged a cliff
But now it broke off pointing at the sky. We got the point.

Or thought we did: the path we'd claimed as ours was gone.
Our project to become an us led nowhere, had no point.

How strange then to turn lightly back, laughing at each other.
To eat wordless, giddy, gigantic breakfasts, as if to make a point.

That what? That appetite survived our little wreck? Well, yes. Upstairs
We rounded, rubbed, enlarged, developed, impaled ourselves upon the point.

 

In the course of becoming a poet and psychologist, Andrew Kuhn has sold firewood, rebuilt apartments, done aid work, and worked as a journalist. His poems have appeared in Able Muse Review, Chimaera, The Mailer Review, the Vending Machine Press, and other venues; work is scheduled for publication in The Heron's Nest and Common Ground Review. Kuhn also conducts interviews with distinguished poets in support of the Katonah Poetry Series, an organization that has brought live poetry readings to Katonah, NY for almost fifty years.