A Parallel Uni-Verse
The woman on NPR is talking about how a black hole
"sucks in a lot of stuff," and then an astronomer

describes it as "the Las Vegas of the universe-
what happens in a black hole stays in a black hole,"

and I can't help but think of "Hotel California,"
where you can check in any time you like but never

leave, though there's one heck of a party going on,
which, in a way, must be similar to that black hole,

with everything in there: electric guitars, martinis,
ice cubes, glasses, tight jeans, and dart boards, all

floating around in that dark maw that never
swallows, never spits out, just keeps stuffing it in,

the stuff of the universe, soundtrack of the Eagles
playing on an infinite loop as if time were stopped

at some point back in the 1970s when I was a kid
and borrowed that album from my aunt, spun it

over and over on our record player, never wanting
the music to end, thinking, "This is the best music

ever, I will always love this record," while meanwhile
my aunt had an affair, ran off with her boss to Vegas

(and never came back), and the world keeps turning
from darkness to light to dark again, our very own

space phenomenon full of all these hungry mouths
wide-open, always wanting more, this planet that holds

us to its surface and won't let go, won't release
any of us even when we're dying to get out of here,

to blow this popsicle stand and find a better party,
one without genocide and fracking and H1N1,

one where we can all do whatever we want with no
consequences, perfectly free, the only burden the choice

whether to go or stay, but where else would we go?


Kristen Lindquist lives in Camden, Maine, and writes the Natural History Calendar for the Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Her collection of poems, "Transportation," is available by contacting her at kelindquist@gmail.com.
Hotel California
By Kristen Lindquist
fifty clocks ticked my losses:
sheep grazing on acorns,
gardens ripe with potatoes and pumpkins,
the ceaseless song of the waves.

Amid walls filled with dusty books,
fifty clocks ticked childhood’s losses
while the lullaby of the waves,
distant voices from the islands,

murmured each night,
Remember,
with the insistent rhythm of waves.
Fifty clocks ticked my lost
hours spent playing on that beach alone.

In my dreams crashing waves
always threatened to sweep it all away.
And now it’s gone. Even his clocks,
all those clocks no longer ticking, lost.


Kristen Lindquist lives in Camden, Maine, and writes the Natural History Calendar for the Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Her collection of poems, Transportation, is available by contacting her at kelindquist@gmail.com.
In my grandfather's house
By Kristen Lindquist
Next to the budding stubs of milkweed pods,
a monarch caterpillar — striking with its stripes
of black and yellow — chews away on the noxious
leaves, making itself poisonous, while a dozen
adults flit around my head, casting some kind of spell
on me as their tiger orange wings slowly beat
against the summer heat, those wings also toxic,
so when they’re migrating hundreds of miles south
and a falcon grabs one in midair, the bug will taste
so bitter the bird will spit it out and let it flap
a little farther down the coast to visit another field
like this one and revive on nectar, its bold wings
a bit tattered now — and you’ll be walking past it
paused on an aster and see that it’s a male,
two tiny glands visible on its upper hind wings,
and then ponder for a moment toxicity and death,
metamorphosis and pheromones, those small, great
mysteries, before continuing along with your net.


Kristen Lindquist lives in Camden, Maine, and writes the Natural History Calendar for the Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Her collection of poems, "Transportation," is available by contacting her at kelindquist@gmail.com.
Monarch
By Kristen Lindquist