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Christopher Nelson, Fugitive (print + pdf)


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Preorder for the print copy + PDF of Christopher Nelson’s chapbook, Fugitive.

“In Fugitive, wild bergamot escape from their gardens while prisoners sleep in permanent fluorescence. Nature blossoms and thought fills the meadows, bridging the color between spirit and matter. This is Eden, lost and everpresent, filled with all manner of life—ants, gnats, butterfies and asters, love and suicide, the whole show. Nelson knows how an idea becomes a kingdom, how the losses of the past are balanced against our wishes for the future. Nelson knows that sometimes we stare into the orchard for no reason other than to stare.” —RICHARD SIKEN

Here’s a sample poem:


Staring into the orchard for no reason other than
to stare. September light and the detritus
that’s blown in against the ancient pear
that bears hard fruits I feel terrible
about letting rot. Seven years since you let
inside your head the patient bullet.
A detail I come back to: an open book beside you,
two-thirds read, some fantasy—dragons, witchery,
the promise of escape typical of the genre. Earlier this year
I pulled a patch of scarlet gaura, mistaking them
for horseweed. Only one survived: backlit, hundreds
of pink-white blooms small as spiders suspended
on stems thin enough in this late hour to be invisible.
As kids we huffed gas in a meadow from a red tank
woodcutters left behind. When everything shimmered we
ran, but I couldn’t feel my body, my legs
just something churning below me, and me
somewhere far off, watching. The gaura lives one year,
maybe two, a fact that is for some reason
unbearable tonight. We dropped acid and climbed
your roof to watch the stars. We spooked when
you said, “They’re watching back.” The fantasy
novel, mid-chapter—and the fact that it took
a month for anyone to find you. Folklore says
horse thieves used to rub their hands
with gaura blooms to calm the animals—
come to in the night by unknown men
talking softly and moving slowly, as if yielding to
a caution already renounced.