C. Derick Varn
C Derick Varn is a poet, podcaster, and teacher. He has a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at Georgia College and State University. H served as assistant editor for Arts and Letters: A Journal of Contemporary Arts, managing editor for the defunct Milkweed Review, founding editor for Former People, and was a reader for Zero Books. He won the Frankeye Davis Mayes/Academy of American Poets Prize in 2003. He is the author of the collections Apocalyptics (Unlikely Books, 2018), and Liberation, and all the other bright etcetera (Mysterioso Books, 2022). He currently lives in Utah but spent most of the last decade outside of the US. Derick recommends the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Doctors without Borders.
At root, everything composed remains mineral and chemical. Radical: cut the node at of its conclusions. The tendrils know dirt. Yes, I too have known fire. I have seen the helmets cutting the surf, bobbing in the foam and viscera.
When I say I love you, I don’t
mean to bring the corpse hounds
to find cadavers, I mean you—
even chapped and wind-burnt—
I would want to watch the world burn,
but it's mundane and common place now,
and so even that is boring. I would hide
this in a metaphor, but I would rather clean
the barrel of an obsolete revolver.
I fake solemnity and self-negation, finish my meal.
Mosquito swarm about my face, sweat beads on
my brow. Emptiness was more fun to write about
before navigating the corridors of cancer wards, orderlies
The paper is ripped on the page
of my favorite Alejandra Pizarnik
poem, my ear aches, and I cool
my hand with a glass of anything
despite the doggerel of lonely
atoms, out of sync with
the unending Styrofoam
models from childhood
has no form, no body, only
light and sound. This complicates
things greatly, but as he sleeps
she enters him gently, rocks
his chest as he sleeps, inhabits
This was the year Russian hackers
stole everything including our will
to live: fire sale for heart-shaped
boxes and personal ambitions on
the deep web, bitcoin only please.