Enshrined by the Roadside

Hawked alongside fastfood and gas,
snippets of sacred text
slapdashed across billboards in lurid colors.

              Lost despite GPS
              pinpointing our exact location.

Pulled off the road in the middle of nowhere,
wokeness pierces the lie of the historical marker
and calls tourists to confess the slaughter of multitudes.

Lovers, strangers, and innocents, naked in the season of dew and disturbance.

Sanctuary or prison, the constructs of imaginary clairvoyants
demand that there’s such a thing as truth
and a proper way to go about living.


Heading Upstream in Springtime

There’s a strange feel to stairs
that cling to the rockface
of some mountain whose name I lost in sleep . . .

ice-mountain . . . balcony . . . ancient TV . . . spotlit rockets in black and white.

Attic hours spent playing the shadows. Faking it in the wrong guy’s jacket.
Eight-ball-black asking if we want it to form clouds
from its hidden stash, or not.

Alone in the backseat I watch cloud-
faces form and break apart all-the-way
to someone else’s magic-mountain
dream . . . I tell myself, I really should keep a notebook
beside me when I sleep.

Halfway-up a cliff on wooden stairs, it’s hard not to think about trolls.


Craig Kittner has lived a fairly nomadic life in the service of fickle manifestations of the creative urge. Wilmington, North Carolina is home now. It’s kind-of-near the sea and full of light. His work has been shortlisted for the Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Awards and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Recent publications include Shot Glass Journal, bottle rockets, The Hyacinth Review, cattails, and the Origami Poems Project. Craig is fond of birds, cats, and rain, but seldom writes of cats.