National Poetry Month Day 8: Chip Livingston


Chip Livingston is the author of the forthcoming novel Owls Don’t Have to Mean Death (Lethe, 2017); an essay/story collection, Naming Ceremony; and two poetry collections, Crow-Blue, Crow-Black and Museum of False Starts. His writing has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, South Dakota Review, Cincinnati Review and on the Poetry Foundation’s and Academy of American Poets’ websites. Chip teaches in the Low Rez MFA programs at Institute of American Indian Arts and at Regis University. Visit


Long Island Jitney Interlude

J:          You sound lonely. I’m sorry it’s hard for you.

J:          Those last two pages were a whiney rant. I only left them in so you’d know what’s going on with me.

J:          I promise I’ll come visit this summer and push you around the boardwalk, where you won’t need to sit on the messy sand. It’s filled with nuclear particles and tiny pieces of waste that will make your skin itch anyway.

J:          Don’t tell anybody, please.

J:          You’ll have your chair to roll up next to an African succulent or something. J will see you as love goddess recalling his trip to Venus. Venus, Italy.

J:          I knew the pages were dry but I sent them to J.

J:          The pimple adores you, of course. I’m calling you legacy now behind your back, but only a third of the time.

J:          People have been nice, ask me out, but dinners, outings … just too hard.

J:          Remember the many times in your life when you craved for silence and to be still.

J:          Result though is that I am totally NOT au courant.

J:          It’s natural. You don’t even know it anymore because you’re au courant on the inside. Style has been mastered by you.

J:          I feel everybody is fed up with me because I am so boring.

J:          If people are talking about things too nuevo moderno, then they are just hiding the fact that they don’t know the classics.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →