from Quarantina

                  by Kit Robinson


Get out, Death!

Get the fuck off my front porch!

Is evil an enormous Asian hornet?

Or is it a thief not wearing a mask?

The hours weigh heavy

Who does not love a tangerine?

Joy is volitional

It comes to you courtesy of hard practice

What did the violin say to the flute?

Climb up on my shoulders and reach for the stars!









Hollywood Squares

Where am I?

Oh, there I am

Where are you?

Where are any of us?

A liminal space

Between self and other

A neither/nor

Without physical sense

A universal nolo me tangere

I want a hug so bad

Water running underground

Time now in Kazakhstan

The other side of the whirl

Dark planet moment

If I’m awake

You must be asleep

And vice versa

Yet here we chat

An amalgam of voices

In a deck of faces

Shuffle and deal

Easy for you to say

Sitting still

In the easy chair

The Easy Rawlins Chair of Detective Fiction

Do I detect an unwillingness

To be tied down?

Get up and take a walk

Errands and herbs yet await you







Same day delivery

Different day same old same old

Same pain in hip

No hip new duds

Looking up from under brim of old hat

Survey the field

Enter land of no subject

Not subject to local ordinance

Noise above certain decibels

Level-headed scansion of nebulous horizon

Hunker down in critical zone

Bugs weigh more than we do

“We” being humans & elephants

The big biology


All according to race & class

Unnumbered, sweet & mild

The smile behind the mask

Light at the end of the funnel

Evening slips our mind

A wayward ship in heavy weather

A swinging bridge










This could be the last time

Takes on a whole new meaning

Every day an exercise in weightlifting

The weight of the world

A world we no longer know


Alienation effect HC-163

Chelsea Gray against Bavarian Forest

The green mountains are always walking

And when they don’t your goose is cooked

Somewhere south of San Pedro

A lifetime of flubs

Catches up with a jarring sensation

As times goes out of joint

The flipping on of our respective lights


Now that you are wide awake

I have something to tell you

And now that I am fast asleep

Can you hear me crying

Like writing in pencil on clean sheets?


In this period of dislocation

The silence is deafening


We have nothing to lose but our supply chains

The way a chainsaw starts up outside

Interrupting your train of thought

The one you were supposed to catch











This is the test

To see if you can take it

Absorb the shocks

Make it or break it


Keep your story straight

Don’t blow your cover

You can still have fun

When all this is over


You elected a man

Who would be king

Your health to him

Doesn’t mean a thing


When voted out

He won’t step down

Democracy now

The tears of a clown


Along came a man

By the name of Obama

Who killed the man

They called Osama


When history jumps

A track like that

Nothing to do but

Hit the road, Jack


Thus poetry offers

A refuge of sorts

Like basketball, tennis

And other sports


All the while

The time goes by

Until one day

You up and die


This is the test

There is no other

Peace be with you

My sister, my brother



Kit Robinson is a Bay Area poet, writer and musician. He is the author of Thought Balloon (Roof, 2019), Leaves of Class (Chax, 2017) and Marine Layer (BlazeVOX, 2015), and 20 other books of poetry. His essays on poetics, art, travel and music appear online at Jacket2, Open Space and Nowhere. Robinson has received fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, as well as an award from the Fund for Poetry. He plays Cuban tres guitar in the charanga band Calle Ocho.