Tanka by Connor Orrico

Tanka by Connor Orrico

My spirit sunders
itself with wraith violence
seeking life and death —
my brain is the funnel web
to which my name surrenders.

If only to leave
Here, back turned to the proffers
of There (talisman
of Tomorrow) to arrive
quietly Nowhere.

Embalming me, a
revenant literature,
dressed in my own flesh,
haunts the Raskolnikov I
hide in my gray upper room.


Shelter eludes me
as I beat my breast with the
tempest of being –
precarious personhood,
living an insomnia.

Feelings immure me
as the subtending hell of
Cerberus seals my
cerebrum with static of
incalescent inertia.

My desperate plea
whispered on the wind of night,
“Dawn, please renew me!”
Alas for my tomorrows,
the déjà vu of today.


Comfort me with lies,
soft nocturne of night singing
sweet somniloquy.
a subtle anesthetic
that wears off before waking.

My mind is awake
to dreams and preparations
but my hands are still –
silent cacophony of
a sickness that does not sleep.

Poised in my chest like
a poltergeist or puppet,
night gnashes its teeth –
O gospel of the goetic,
save me from eternity!


Lost in the tumult
of the indifferent sea,
my skeleton words
are the millstone that drowns me
in depths of useless unrest.

Airport coffee and
the thrill of foreign language
over loudspeakers
as we wait for unknowns to
pull us into their stories.


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Connor Orrico is a student and amateur field recordist interested in global health, mental health, and how we make meaning from the stories of person and place we share with each other.


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