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Bond & Koch – November 2016

Chris Koch and Taylor Bond traded art and words. Chris shared this image, entitled “(study for) The Graces In Their Boredom,” with Taylor:


In response, Taylor wrote this pair of poems:

hello, fire

Let me walk the cobbles of your spine
—I will promise to tread carefully

with toes like an amphibian, webbed
and spread gently across your bones.

I will tell them that this is love, truly;
an assail, a kneading destruction,

a path laid out from the best parts of yourself.
Hear that sizzle? It is the sound of tears

sacrificing themselves to the coals
that your body is strung across.

Hear that sobbing? It is me, weeping
as I travel further away from you

without glancing back.

goodbye, water

what i mean is that I have drowned myself for you
I have delivered you a letter that no one was meant to receive

here, my hero; take it; put it in your mouth like a bit;
clamp your lips upon it; stone upon stone

taste the secrets that blood has spilled.
my love is a terrible thing; it wears holes

into calves, the tendons of muscles as people try to swim
to safety; it drags them to the dark course sand below

because it is too scared to let go. This aorta
is an anchor; soured by salt. This poem

is a submarine; let it sink.

* * * * *

Taylor shared this poem with Chris:

The Ballad of Tommy

He drove an evergreen pick-up truck
right off the corner of Route Ten
metal arms careening, an acrobat
in a restless circus, hopeful for the
grand finale of avocado blankets
and tambourines and gun-shot applause,
hulking metal car carcass desperately
trying to unmake dreams and
messing the sheets into taught coils.
There was no noise, there was
no time for it, only the rip
of a second, big enough for
a memory to slip through
and then a thud that echoed
like hollow pots. Like hollow
pots the trees parted, enough
for a car to slip through, clawing
at its edges while the audience roared
as the bull was gored in the name of
machismo, the many faced phantom
that slips pink-lipped into strong
bodies, ambitious containers, men.
He drove a pickup trick right off
the edge of a cliff, going 80 on a 25.
He died as any mortal would;
in fire, searching for infinity.

In response, Chris made this image, entitled “The Driver Finds Infinity Beneath a Bright Sky”: