After Dostoyevsky

Carl Boon


I am a man without a name
who like the spider emerges
to supply the world
with consternation.
I dine alone
on words and take my coffee,
surprised I’m a man at all.
I disturb people, I hold
a blade to dissect strawberries
and watch each seed fall toward
worlds I’ve come to regret,
each seed a woman smiling
on the trolley, specks
arranged in ovals for her eyes.
I dislike things that move,
and pretty things, but am
drawn to them, against them,
the way certain moths
pin their bodies to the light
that kills them. The shadows
the icons make in the corner
of my room are poisonous.
The air I inhale is poisonous
yet I take pleasure in breathing,
observing. Look—there is a woman
who will not love me—look how fine
the skin of her hands
as she stirs her coffee, look
at her expression of ingratitude.
If only she knew
what might await her—my collection
of forks from the Orient,
the balloons I save
that children have broken.




Carl Boon is the author of the full-length collection Places & Names: Poems (The Nasiona Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Posit and The Maine Review. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007, and currently lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at Dokuz Eylül University.