Family System by Jack Christian

[winner of the 2012 Colorado Prize for Poetry]

from MARIE

Karin’s parents sent a couple nice wishes
and off they went around the bend on a Jonathan,
where the road can’t Siobhan. Don was from Homer, Alaska—
Tuesday born, fathered by nonesuch, raised by Julia.
Graham did everything for a reason, was math proficient.
Nick did it for Eleanor. Aunt Jay did it with J.P.,
thereby upsetting many people. This made the newsletter.
Did you catch it? The guy we call “Japes.” They printed it
“John Patrick.” Marybeth conferenced with Lawson;
Angela copied Creech and cleared the changes through Jana.
Michelle told the boys to hit the presses. John threw his clothing.
Ryan flew to Pasture. This meant Par 3 with Sterling,
executive ombuds. Andrew was impossible to locate.
Terence, like the dog will do. With Ray, there were goals,
which Ruth interpreted biblically. If she bore a child
she would name it Ruth. If it was a boy she would name its basket,
but still feel reprehensible. This was Saturday, Year of Manuals.
Jamie was to wed Alan then at the site decided by Mary Lyons,
who planned for violet; expected Meredith.
God Love Stonewall Jackson and Men of Vacation.
Tabitha reneged on account of charm school. Clay, gone to Maui.
Junior Chism, somewhat racist, still invited.
Cal was what Meg was bringing to the picnic. Sadie preferred "B-B-Q."
Garvey was modulated through potato salad.
There were "reasons." Put two "reasons" together,
they make a "foot." This, according to Jack's brother's thesis,
titled Warren's Wonderful World of Made-Up Facts
not necessarily untrue. Thanks, Different Dave,
for pointing that out. Tulley was sorry to hear
of your arms and your legs. Nothing is impossible.
[read the rest of "Marie" (an earlier version) at notnostrums]