Three Poems by Sam Canney

These three poems by Sam Canney meditate on deep connection through ordinary, but complicated experiences with love…

by: Sam Canney

Chiropractic for the Soul

Lie down here, I’ll be
right back, he said. 
I waited for 3 years and 3 months.

Then he came right back empty-
handed. Smiling,
he told me to get comfortable

as he moved my body 
to its side with nothing
more than the trace of a need.

My hairs erected
as if kneeling to pray to touch
his gentleness trembling inside my arms

crossing over my barren chest. And
why did I want to take off my shirt all of a sudden? 
In lieu of his retracting instruments, his hands,

I wondered:
could he reach the vitalism flowering in the cracks
of my spine, my aching displacement? 

Imagining his careful mind
x-ray my axial vertebrae, he continued,
Deep breath in…

Relax, he said,
asking me to trust him. 
Is there anyone else after me?

He caressed my ears as if turning an apple 
from its stem. At the tightest degrees
I could feel hunger seep into my subluxations.

Breathe out…
I was just halfway to letting go
when, in a tiny moment

only a speechless eye could find
he snapped my grief open and
my soul plummeted from the tree. 

The big bang was just God snapping their fingers 
to the words you say right before goodbye.
But here we are, now. 

My soul is falling from the tree. And
yes, yes,
it’s falling back into me. 

too much
i was 
too much, i say
as if my sense 
of excess
were defined
by the unbearability 
of my pain
Wake up at 2pm wandering a maze in a maze in a maze

All of your blood has pooled 
into the left side of your body. You shift
over—a jug sloshing half-full with anxiety.
Now you remember, this is how to inhale:
Reach for the gut with everything around you.
Life ebbing like bubbles from an open Sprite.
Blanket on, blanket off, blanket on,
all the music pumping regret
to the toes and back. 

Catacombs are carried in your throat,
moans of every late last night 
losing traction. In other words,
run back through your dreams until
you’ve reached your final waking want 
and take a picture of it. High angle, 
some crimson lighting, shadows just so. 
Remember your reason for sleeping 
has nothing to do with slumber. 

Poke your head from the covers,
peek-a-boo bitch! 
Breakfast is ready, but you’re hungry 
for the time they said they had a good time
last night. 1,218 last nights ago. 
There’s nothing to do today, anyhow. 
Close your eyes & feel the pump 
of the dance floor echo, slosh until you’re still 
again, let the bubbles go. 

Sam Canney is a gay nomad originally from a small conservative town in North Carolina, now residing in Brooklyn, NY. A facilitator of creative consciousness, he workshops at Brooklyn Poets and The Sadagat School of Motion and Text. Among his works include poetry in On-the-High Literary Journal, Sunday Mornings at the River, and the forthcoming issue of Vocivia Magazine.

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