Dean Tripp

The Poet Imagines Himself Leaving Home

The Hopi have a word for–
you don’t care. I’ve told you this
a thousand times. I bled
a cactus, picturing my father.
I got an erection. I sniffed at what
he leaked. It was a familiar smell:
green, sad. Who do we think that we are
deep down? Man’s no ocean. No orchid.
Painters tired of their human portraits:
lying mirrors. I’m bored of writing them.
The cactus will cry and sputter if you cut
it when it’s dry. I loved that thing.



These days the wind utters slack-jawed diatribes on every small town. We
are sick of ourselves yet we don’t wear condoms. Instead we equate loneliness to

symptoms like varicose veins—vomit white prayers
into every survival story. Our homes no more than sad testaments

to cruel ingenuity: relicked frugality. Our children drink from green hosiery
as it anacondas the perimeter—they hold their noses to the blood-smell of it,

the rust it drags across their palates. Graffiti patrons watch documentaries on
Caribbean earthquakes, send as much as they can. Vaguely remember a history

lesson As soon as coin in coffer rings…From their limousines and Escalades
they crone through cracked windows Get well soon and Gentrify yourselves.

My father’s keepsake: a line from Titan’s daughter reads One day we won’t
fear you, I promise. Your monster will wind away. I can love you then. It can’t kill you all.


Dean Tripp might be a senior at SUNY Geneseo. He’s studying creative writing when he’s not at home in Argyle, New York ignoring nature. He plays too many video games and binges Netflix ad nauseam. While he has never been published, he hopes that one day he can so that he may get into the exclusive club in Heaven that Kurt Vonnegut sits in, drinking whiskey and being sad. He doesn’t drink tea.


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