Chris Emslie


The planet looks different from
the inside of a fishbowl. Directly
under a rainbow is the safest place
for this game, this language
like a procession of flashbulbs.
Would you call this
making a home for life? I’d call it
foreclosure or the trembling end
of a needle. The future calls me up
on weekends but I work weekends.
I am fixed five to seven feet before
the headlights, bright unbearable
answer pursuing in the rear-view,
a sweet sad boy in thrifty plaid
pitched off the back of a poem.

There Are No Squirrels In This Poem

When the days are coated in neoprene there is only
so much I can say about broken mechanisms

This wilderness has its own maple taste and it is anchored
by its wrists against the headboard

I have nothing further on the subject of cardinals
All I can do is approach the feathered objects of the world

My leavings are an admiralty of tire-tracks
like a comb passed through your white life

This is why I raise my hands to absolute joy
Because a body has been given to me

and like all things it salutes this horizon
I want you to tell me about carving a new soundscape


Chris Emslie is assistant editor at ILK journal. His poems have appeared / are forthcoming in NAP, Artifice and Word Riot, among others. He lives in Scotland under ongoing pursuit by rainclouds.