The Sunday Poem: Christopher Robinson








They salvaged only what was vital, leaving
behind their most precious belongings,
including Aunt Beale’s watercolors,
which were lost, and the thousand
paper cranes Dad had folded
to win Mom over, placing them
on her usual routes, at the post office,
in the library bathroom, that after
the wedding they’d hung
from the dining room ceiling—lost.
They lost several leisure suits,
Star Wars T-shirts, baseball cards
and G.I. Joes and several vases
of fresh daisies. And in the smolder
of blackened house, once the firemen’s
hoses had gone limp, they found
the family schnauzer, dead and gleaming:
what had happened was, the dog
had hidden in the cabinet below
the family silver, which had melted,
casting the poor mut entire.
It radiated waves of heat.
But how could they not reach out
to pet that shiny silver schnauzer,
one by one, saying ‘there boy,’
as they burned their soft pink hands?




About Christopher Robinson

Christopher Robinson is a writer, teacher and translator currently living in the wind. He earned his MA in poetry from Boston University and his MFA from Hunter College. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Alaska Quarterly ReviewNight TrainKenyon ReviewNimrod, Chiron ReviewUmbrella FactoryFlatmanCrookedMcSweeney’s OnlineMare Nostrum, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Sante Fe Art Institute, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He has been a Ruth Lilly Fellowship finalist for the last two years.

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“Hotdog” © Christopher Robinson and was published with permission from the author.


By | 2016-11-11T21:53:39+00:00 12.03.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Christopher Robinson

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.