Two Poems -Anne Gorrick


When You Purposefully Corrupt This Game

There is a rumor, an urban myth, a fiction
a fantasy, a black-and-white screen cliché
that love looks like
a mad, romantic dash through airports
for a last chance at a flailing kiss
Or maybe it’s three kids and hundreds of miles and potty breaks and princess pull-ups
Or maybe you just think of central heating and novacane
When You Think of Us, Pray For Us, Hollow Boys

Sam partners up with his future police mentor in 1973
and feels the slight heart attack
when you think you’ve lost your phone
When you think of the long and gloomy history of man
you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience
He may only be 11
but Alexi Caples is already starting to think that his mom might be a vampire

It’s Impossible To Be Unhappy In A Poncho
Recently a friend of mine had something like 200 pictures taken of her
in a lush, green outdoor setting
her long wavy hair framing her deep-set eyes
He’ll never be able to be with her because she’s lost
in this distancing, cinematic wilderness

The good news is bad teams are still trying
The bad news is bad teams are still bad
Also, they make literally everyone else look like 14 times more gorgeous
To say that it’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open isn’t entirely correct
The process that produces a sneeze affects many parts of the body
especially on tour
where there are a set of conditions at play
that make crashing the custard truck nearly impossible
I’d estimate that about half of the questions I get
over at Ye Olde Advice Smackdown
these days are about sleep. Sleep and babies

When you purposefully corrupt this game
if you’re lucky
it turns into something resembling a nightmare
an absurd nightmare full of glitches
a push-and-pull, elbows-out situation
I’ve always wondered how you quit surfing

She is decidedly gray and
there is no room for moral ambiguity in women
and exhibitionist couples simply do not give a damn about the inevitability
of being immortalized on a camera phone
Sometimes it’s impossible to move this body of mine
First my feet stick right out
not making it easy to go through doors
Remember the “Boomer-rang” effect?

It’s impossible to get dressed in September
When you think of unqualified underdogs in the Bible
you have to look no further than
brain-based education
You look so sad when you think he can’t see you
It’s a 19 hour drive and a thirty minute walk
to the spot where the sycamore tree is down across the river
making that sweet fish seam
It’s impossible to create a machine
that would tell
for every statement
whether it’s true or false
I honestly believe
that if you look at any animal long enough and close enough
you’ll find them beautiful, eventually
Oh September. You baffle me


Do not watch this adorable live stream of the Penguins at SeaWorld in San Diego unless you can squeal with happiness at your place, in private

There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction
– Salvador Dali

It might sound frightening
to have your arm move involuntarily, controlled by some unseen puppet master
(Instrumental Acappella with Extra Beats)
What thoughts and words come to mind when you think of Japan?
“When I think of you
my face tingles
my feet tremble
The world turns red and bursts into lights
When I think of you trains stop, cars honk
My eyes open like envelopes”
I think it is safe to say that Twitter helped me discover a girl
who literally could share the same brain as me

I spend a lot of time alone in the car
Apparently this turns me into a superstar
I think about death
I think of tea
This is also when I practice my duck face
I think of German voices
and refuse to believe that My Big Fat Revenge is a real thing
I think about pioneers it’s impossible to ever meet
I think about summer camp
its Advil, Nyquil, and chlorine

He might have played the hangdog slacker
but he possessed the sharpest of brains
Even so, it’s impossible to score 78 goals in 45 minutes
It’s impossible to take a picture of Khoshekh
and any attempts to do so will result in a horrible death
it’s Impossible to Teach Portnoy’s Complaint
A young major league pitcher is struck in the head by a line drive
He crumples to the ground
Take home a George Custer bobblehead
It seems a peculiar choice

Work as slowly as you can but pretend it’s impossible to work any faster
This should be an effortless exercise, right?

Beauty, happiness and wealth are impossible to measure objectively
And this is further proof that it’s impossible to photograph ONE cat
It’s impossible to become more spiritual
It’s impossible to aim without being focused
It’s Impossible To Touch Your Nose With Your Pinky Finger If Your Eyes Are Closed
It’s impossible to explain how a Sicilian feels about Mt Etna
You could smell it in the hallways, that putrid smell
I can’t explain it, but it’s still in my mind when I think about it
this direct erosion of all things
Clear thoughts are almost impossible
and even when I think I’ve got one, I rarely actually do

Ten years ago this month
13 people died when two levels of porches full of party-goers collapsed in Lincoln Park
“I don’t remember hitting the ground,” survivor Natalie Brougham said
fishingblues is full of shit past his/her ears
When I think of Lola
(and all the other places such as Linger and Vita)
I think of the mortuary those buildings used to be

Truthfully, I don’t have a specific origin story for how I came up with the idea to create this poem

Looking at your feet means you are
uncomfortable, self-conscious, ashamed
in a hurry or you just like your shoes
Who knows, maybe you are just a person who likes their muse
If you are looking at the floor, does it mean you are
what summer feels like, like it’s over, like it never really had a chance to get going
(Big surprise: I hate sparklers)

I was raped. I reported it. I was raped. I didn’t report it. I was raped. I reported it but I didn’t press charges. I was raped. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do so I told myself that I wasn’t raped. But I was. I was raped.

Why is this inappropriate?

When I think of Castlevania
my mind is filled with flickering candles and gloomy castles
a world where even the cutlery has a baroque-gothic vibe
There is the frightening, the miraculous
It prompts reactions such as “speechlessness, paralysis, emotion, and dedication”
When I think about volunteering, I rarely think: why am I doing this?
More often I think: why are other people not doing this?
When I think of good limited enchantments
I think of Pacifism, one of the very best removal spells
A pacifism that is beautifully designed and executed


The Poem by Oppen, McPhee-ed

“In what way or manner; by what means?”
used interrogatively in questions, often as invitations
Something having the shape of an I
containing enough milk or cream to produce a light color

What is about to follow
(provision, margin, allowance
dialect to such an extent)
will fall or be knocked down, will travel or move over as if
to allow for a full year by any way of counting, as long as anyone remembers

When both operands are positive
representing the interval between one vernal equinox and the next
An object of wonder
used to indicate denial, negation, or refusal
or the negative force of which is understood
to form the passive voice
used by a sovereign, or by other high officials and dignitaries, in place of the I

Decide critically
that there is still a chance for a different outcome
Maybe something having the shape of an A
over the course pursued by a moving object

Distance or direction from
a material object without life or consciousness
inward; incoming; inbound
A United States highway (used with a number)
simmers, glows
expresses a wish
denotes itself
indicates that a previous statement is untrue

You are free from turbulence
You are a combining form used in the names of chemical compounds
Iceland: that natural phenomenon, that ship
also a building, time, branch of endeavor, or field of study as
any part or spot in a body or surface
You are a vowel
followed by the scent of a vowel

Absolutely, perfectly, dead
beyond an enclosure, institution, boundary
used as an intensive we
as well as
a person or animal understood, previously mentioned, or about to be mentioned whose gender is unknown or disregarded
An unstressed bee

Or a shred, scrap, or fragmentary bit of anything
used to indicate distance or direction from
a sail, an extension of a topmast
a size of printing paper, 20 by 25 inches

A square sail carried on a yard set on a topmast
seldom; rarely; infrequently
becomes her tattered clothing

Use this poem to express motion or direction toward a point
I admit to being kept without spoiling
a well-known, customary, or obvious remark
To keep from being lost
from my normal or customary self
I heard an additional cheer (often the word tiger) at the end of a round of cheering

Then a subdued, low sound; hushed
the heating or the calcining of certain ores and rocks
involve an obsessive interest in one’s own satisfaction

A condition or time of obscurity, ignorance, sinfulness, misfortune, etc
(of prey, when flushed) to fly straight upward
to cut (metal) with an oxygen-rich flame

Indium, intubation
a device, as a printer’s type, for reproducing the letter U or u
also called luminous energy

A euphemistic word
any; any whatever
separates (silver) from gold in refining
carries on active hostility or contention
that luminance of a body in its saturation and brightness

To turn pale
the salt waters
that cover the greater part of the earth’s surface
any system of formalized symbols

A watch kept, especially for some solemn or ceremonial purpose
over animate existence
Its compactness, coherence
runs into the outdoors

To sleep beyond one’s usual time of arising
with a poem, something made
a box with the lid raised or a drawer that is pulled out
+ the bewilderment caused by glamour

Talk softly and privately
by using the hands, as opposed to machines



About Anne Gorrick

Anne Gorrick is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of The Olfactions: Poems on Perfume (forthcoming in 2017 from BlazeVOX Books), A's Visuality (BlazeVOX, 2015), I-Formation (Book 2) (Shearsman Books, Bristol, UK, 2012), I-Formation (Book 1) (Shearsman, 2010), and Kyotologic (Shearsman, 2008). She collaborated with artist Cynthia Winika to produce a limited edition artists’ book, “Swans, the ice,” she said, funded by the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has also co-edited (with poet Sam Truitt) In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Writing from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill Press, 2016). With poet Melanie Klein, she curates the reading series Process to Text, which focuses on innovative writing from in and around New York’s Hudson Valley. She also co-curated the electronic poetry journal Peep/Show with poet Lynn Behrendt (, which is a “taxonomic exercise in textual and visual seriality.” Images of her visual art can be found here: She is President of the Board of Trustees at Century House Historical Society, home of the Widow Jane Mine, an all-volunteer organization ( that hosts a variety of arts events, and preserves the history of the now-defunct local cement industry. View all posts by Anne Gorrick

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