C. Derick Varn

C. Derick Varn

C. Derick Varn is a poet, podcaster, and teacher now living in Salt Lake City. His first collection, Apocalyptics, is available from Unlikely Books. He was a poetry reviewer for the Hong Kong Review of Books, and currently edits the online literary journal, Former People. He also reads theory and nonfiction for Zero Books and is a podcast co-host and co-producer for Pop the Left and Mortal Science. Derick recommends the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Doctors without Borders.

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—

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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.

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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

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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

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despite the doggerel of lonely
atoms, out of sync with
the unending Styrofoam
models from childhood

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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

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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.

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