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we had much

to leave behind

in order to follow

the river to the sea

my grandfather said

always remember you come

from people who wash after work

                 migration can

                 change a family

                 some die before the end

                 others born along the way

                             I know my

                             poems by

                             their shapes

                             and have felt

                             their edges in

                             my dreams the

                             side of a poem

                             rubbed against

                             my cheek like a

                             bone comb or

                             a lover's toe



      in this poem

   the words I give

you will run out

         there is


        I can do

      about it

    from the

   moment I fell in love

   with making the letter g as a kid

     I foresaw the peripheries making

       g as a conjuring g g g curve and

       return g g g all I wanted for Christmas

     was an X-ray of my hand making g g g

   pleasure in forms united in a life

 I choose to love no matter what

Listen to "Chrome Country" by Oneohtrix Point Never, selected to accompany "CORONA DAZE 95" and "CORONA DAZE 96," below:

00:00 / 05:05

CACONRAD's latest book JUPITER ALIGNMENT: (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals, is forthcoming from Ignota Books in 2020. The author of 9 books of poetry and essays, While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books), won the 2018 Lambda Book Award. They also received a 2019 Creative Capital grant as well as a Pew Fellowship, the Believer Magazine Book Award, and the Gil Ott Book Award. They regularly teach at Columbia University in New York City, and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Please view their books, essays, recordings, and the documentary The Book of Conrad (Delinquent Films) online at

"CAConrad's poems invite the reader to become an agent in a joint act of recovery, to step outside of passivity and propriety and to become susceptible to the illogical and the mysterious."
        —Tracy K. Smith, New York Times

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