Microphone as Talisman

Yesterday it was the train’s screeching disruption
of Vaziri through subway speakers.
It was bowel sounds of the dishwasher the day before.
In my room last week it was a rabbit in hay
like last year’s goat chewing grass on Hispaniola.
Hearing ephemeral sounds I record the moment
by microphone before it is lost to entropic eternities.
Like a conservationist I thought its value was self-evident.
But everything is sound –

as I keep listening I lose confidence in my capacity
to preserve this pervasive transience.
From there, it is easy to question
why I even try to count infinity.

Here & There, or How We Delineate Outside Vs. In

sometimes memories
of places from my past
superimpose themselves
on my present surroundings:

a bench beside the Buffalo metro
becomes where I sat in Guate
listening to the fountain’s static
as I hear the rumble of the subway,

a Portland arts festival
transmutes to the carnival
in Antigua I wandered through
as a phantom in funhouse mirrors,

an ATM in a Toronto
replicates the original
in an Accra strip mall
or Cap-Haïtien market
or police station
in Bhubaneswar,

demarcating here and there
as the rearranged names
of time and place,
our deceptive divisions.

Time’s Channel

perceived truth with fictions affixed
written as a palimpsest
of memory and dream,
revenant realities —

it reads like vertigo,
a complex being
composed of colors
which make when mixed
what we cannot name,
navigating the waters
of existence by kaleidoscope
and seasons and wind,
eyes closed on peaceful nights
or lamps lit to embrace
the phantasmagoria of life,
that sobriquet time

through which we set our sails to self,
our transfiguring stories.

Connor Orrico is a student and amateur field recordist interested in global health, mental health, and how we make meaning from the stories we share with each other, themes which were recently explored in his publications in Headline Poetry & Press and Plum Tree Tavern

Artwork by Raana Dehghan, Courtesy of the Artist