Going with the flow.

GOING WITH THE FLOW BY CHRISTOPHER STROPLE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 53


You speak most often

Of trivial things, of the names

Of celebrities and various maladies,

Of bodily functions and the like.

You give a cheer to the home team

And a sneer to the visiting one,

Especially if that team is about

To steal a victory from yours.

You eat even when you are not hungry,

You eat because you can.

You shy away from the wordy prolix, and

Instead fantasize about exotic locations

And corrective surgery.

You play with dolls, and attend family barbecues.

You gear-up for the national holidays that mark

Your calendar year. You give and receive

Gifts, but always with the small hope that

You receive more than you give.

You pretend to be strong and hide

Your true feelings, and stew in

A sense of guilt brought about by some

Deeper sense of inadequacy.

This, in turn, is stimulated by your

Immediate environment, by print ads

And television commercials.

You are necessary only so long

As required, and then you disappear.

CHRISTOPHER STROPLE

Writing poetry was an impossible pursuit. Poetry was fanciful, indulgent, even hysterical. And yet it spoke to me, from it I heard and understood that language was both the severity of political experience (to greatly borrow from Laing) and the music of singular existence (to greatly borrow from Vallejo). As a result, writing poetry could never be a hobby, could never be something that I did in my spare time. Writing poetry would become sustenance; air, water, breath, sex, food, shelter. I was determined to be an artist even if it was “impractical, idealistic, and/or indulgent (all comments directed my way at one point or another)” and even if it meant little or no money in my pocket.

I continue to explore the intersections of words and images. My work is partially derived from a fondness for color and an affection for aesthetics.

I was born and raised in southern California. After a decade of teaching public elementary school in southern California, I now teach at a public university and live in central Maine. Credits include: Art Times, Fox Cry Review, Aries, Parnassus Literary Journal, Möbius, and Red Owl among others.

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