Two Poems by Chris Middleman

Photo Credit: Trent Alan Morris

Photo Credit: Trent Alan Morris

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CLASS PARTICIPATION

Well-scrubbed & shining under track lighting,
we intellectual debutantes bejeweled
office chairs that spun in a new media lab
named for some So-and-So’s donations

Our presiding Media Crit & Theory professor
was serving out some kind of career probation
at a state school’s cheaper satellite campus
He sat cross-legged, right of the lectern

Tossing aside his slim-fit blazer
and tucking half his hairdo behind an ear,
he asked us to call out luxury watch brands
to casually illustrate some point

When the girls with the splendorous
blond hair that gleamed like trophies
called out words I’d never heard before,
I knew the quagmire I fell into was deepening

 

 

BLOOD ORANGES

When splitting one down the middle
for the first time, the sanguine reveal
at first seems unnervingly wrong
like a double-yolked egg’s novel horror
before giving way to delight; coloring
mom’s baking unnerving and strange

The crimson carpels and vesicles yield
to the blade like a middle school dissection
of atria & ventricles performed by a hand attached to
a body whose own mutations were barely
expounded upon in musty textbooks and handouts
re-Xeroxed into a flaccid oblivion of hoses & cowheads

But, always the autodidact, you’d taste
the segments on your own to discover
that not all oranges were orange,
that what seems wrong could be delicious
that the blood was indeed the life
and without care, it’ll all leave a stain

 

 

Chris Middleman lives and writes in Seattle, Washington. A native of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several independent press outlets, including New York QuarterlyUnderground Voices and Full of Crow.

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