Chase Berggrun


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Chase Berggrun


Chase berggrun

 
 
 

Ablative Absolutes


Ablative Absolutes


 

Ablative Absolutes

 

With the bird having been driven home to their dad, soaking wet, wearing blue booty shorts

With the bird’s dad having been executed in broad daylight, but first the hangman gave him an extra set of wings
    
With the wings having been made of paper, glass, dramatic irony

With the bird having been unbalanced by the weather

With the bird having been bad at being a bird
    
With the bird’s dad having been dead & unshaven under the ground in a tin can with a purple bow that he would have hated having been tied to his beak

With the bird’s lung having been hollowed out by a system of impulses electric & undeclared
    
With the bird’s dad having died at a young age when the bird was also young

With the bird’s dad having been compelled to remain alive a great deal later than his death
    
With the bird’s mom having been quite lovely & having made a significant impression on the young bird by instructing them in a rigorous Latin regimen

With the bird having learned every declension, conjugation, & later on in life every sex position
    
With the bird having been grown to an enormous size in the secondary womb of the nest

With their bird body having been licked & licked & licked by an offensive stormcloud that invaded the small messiness of their nest

With the bird’s first book having been taught in every fine feathered institution

With the bird’s second release having been excoriated in a televised trial & subjected to public burnings
        
With the bird’s dad having been well-educated, he once delivered a lengthy dissertation on the exact colour of January exactly one week before he was dead

With the bird’s mom having been well-educated, as bird-moms often are

With the bird having been shocked to learn that someday all dads will die

With the bird having been given more than enough crusty bread & not at all enough butter
    
With the bird having been warm & wondering what the fuck are we wearing all of these clothes for

With the bird having been so exhausted by Catullus 85 that they tattooed it on their feeble wing

With the bird having been so tired one day they just stayed home & watched Gilmore girls until their nose bled

With the bird’s dad having been so heartbroken when the bird’s mom died, even though he too was already dead

With the bird’s favorite kind of tea being Constant Comment because it made them feel famous & paranoid as if everyone was talking about them

With the wings of the bird having been irrelevant to their fundamental ability to fly

With the bird having been so disillusioned with geography that they opened all the windows of their nest & burned every atlas they ever encountered

With the bird having been lulled into a stupor by the relentless anonymity of subway transit

With the bird having known the exact date of their own death & having been unsurprised at their failure to die on that date

With the bird having had a piss-poor handle of the eccentricities of Ancient Greek, having been particularly unenthused by Simonides 

With the bird having been tortured into an ecstatic understanding of their own subterranean sexual proclivities 

With the bird having been aged to a perfect ripeness in the prison of the winery where they were born

With the bird’s dad having been dead they dug him up & sang to his tiny birdskull & it sang back 

With the bird having been bronzed like a baby shoe in the perfect misery of morning light the day after the funeral of their dad & their mom

With the funeral actually having been the funeral of the bird

With the bird having been quite uneasy with being the kind of bird that everyone thought that they should be

With the bird’s mom having been unable to address them in the way that they wanted to be addressed

With the bird having been consumed by the anger of the city they lived in 

With the bird having been sated by the deliciousness of the anger that they in turned consumed in the city

With the bird having turned & turned & turned in the grave in the air that they dug for themself with a headless shovel on Shabbat

With the bird having been so dejected they tunneled into the earth like a motorized emotional screwdriver

With the bird having been ashamed they hid their head in the earth slightly similar to another style of bird that will not be named here 

With the bird having been closed off to all possibilities they sank their wings into the tepid ocean & sailed off into the near future

With the bird having been a bird of perfect proportions & lauded as the #1 bird in the whole entire universe as featured on the cover of Bird Magazine

With the bird’s dad having been a fearless leader of birds who marched through the airstreams & fought for birds’ rights his whole life 

With the bird’s dad having been assassinated publicly in the dead of night by the secret police of the city

With the bird having been impossibly lessoned in the finer martial arts 

With the bird having been of exceptional moral mettle they were often consulted on ethical conundra as well as matters of the heart

With the bird having been possessed of an extremely salacious beak, leading to their penchant for off-colour but socially responsible jests

With the bird having been an eloquent orator & having inherited their activist spirit from their dad who sent them outrageous manifesta from the solitude of his political prison
    
With the bird having been intrigued by the maimed potential of their own clipped wings
    
With the bird’s conception of hope having been born inside them as an infant, accidentally thrown from the nest & temporarily susceptible to predation

With the bird’s dad having been a sufferer of various mental illnesses leading up to & continuing on after his tragic death

With the bird’s dad having been primarily a recurrent daydream throughout most of the bird’s life
    
With the bird having been deprived they invented various hallucinatory adventures of their noble dad including jungle forays & a miraculous escape from the menace of an experimental research facility

With the bird’s mom having been a consistent presence in their life there was no need to conjure up any fictions for her

With the bird having been bored with the stagnancy of academic autoasphyxiation

With the bird having been bored into by a smile the same color as lead

With the bird having been saturated with feelings of physical inadequacy

With the bird having been dissatisfied with their body & its shape

With the bird having been overcome by an intense desire to shave off their own flesh as if it were a block of ice so as to rapidly achieve a perfect state of thin

With the bird having been thin

With the bird having been a bullet wound

With the bird having been beat, hard, beat hard, hard, again & again in the unsteadiness of the city

With the bird having been convinced their city’s cocoon of “progressive” could provide shelter from fist

With the bird having been tethered to the nest

With the bird having been untethered from the nest by the reality their dad warned them of a few months after his death

With the bird having been disconnected from their own femininity

With the bird having been disgusted by the very idea of masculinity

With the bird having been an immense facsimile of the vulva as a symbol masquerading as truth in the obviously false body of the bird

With the bird having been a symbol signifying nothing

With the bird having been unsettled in their self & having been afraid, to be quite honest, of flying

With the bird having been held in the hand of another for a long while without ever having felt held

With the hand having been unable to deal with the weight, it clenched

With the bird having been crushed in that incomparable palm

With the bird having been surprised at how long it took for their compact skeleton to heal & reorganize itself
    
With the bird having been traumatized by the tyranny of tallness, the tree

With the bird having felt the need to express physical pain publicly so that none were ignorant of it

With the bird having been elevated to the highest height in the forest & doused in ethanol

With the bird having been dazzled & undressed by music one evening, Nina Simone, a deep well, drowning in the memory of their dad’s dead eye that ached out of his open casket on the day of the bird’s birth

With the bird having been taken out of their element by the diseased urging of their unchosen family

With the bird having been exhibited as a mystery, as curiosity, not as a circus sideshow but as an inherent aberration, the black sheep bleating like a goat
    
With the bird’s dad having been unknown to the bird for the minority of the bird’s life

With the bird’s life having been a poignant tribute to Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence

With the bird having been branded with a complex series of barcodes that when scanned reveal the bird’s every unsavory secret

With the bird having been a perfectly ripe pear, impossible to bruise or puncture, impervious to hunger

With the bird’s eye having been open, unopened

With the bird’s eye having been emptied of blue

With the bird’s eye having been belonging to nothing not associated with beauty

With the bird having been painted by heaven the steady color of doom

With the bird having been frequently compared to both Andrei & Natasha especially when attending luxurious dinner parties

With the bird having been flattered by this comparison

With the bird having been very rarely flattered, or even pleased with anything at all

With the bird having been an infinite receptacle, a Greek amphora designed to house & hide away traces of joy

With the bird’s sister having been never discussed 

With the bird’s sister having been born a ghost, a breadcrumb, an afterthought, having been unborn

With the bird’s sister’s name having been constantly on the tip of their tongue, but never retrievable from memory

With the bird’s sister having been forever buried at the bottom of the nest

With the bird’s dad having been too distraught to deal

With the bird’s dad’s death having been already a lot to deal with

With the bird’s beak having been designed for seed but often used instead to damage dead flesh

With the bird having been finished with hunger
    
With the bird having been a bird accustomed to disappointment

With the bird having been a bird with inappropriate expectations

With the bird having been a bright shade of blue that upset the eye

With the bird having been haunted by a dream of blue every night for all of their life

With the bird having been haunted by a dream of their dad & the soft hug of his wing 

With the bird’s dad having been dead

With the bird’s mom & dad & the whole relevant world having been dead

With the bird having been unconvinced of all that

With the bird having been dead & not quite dead but since they thought it was the right time to go they folded their wings & sang to all the angels up in heaven
    
With all the angels up in heaven having been jerks who spat down on the prostrate bird

With the bird having been put off by this they hailed a cab, destination nowhere or at least a better nest
   

 
 

Biography


Biography


 

Chase Berggrun is a genderqueer poet and the author of Discontent and Its Civilizations: Poems of Erasure, winner of the 2012 jubilat Chapbook Contest judged by Peter Gizzi, and their work has been published in Cutbank, Washington Square Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, No Tokens, The Cortland Review, the anthology Time You Let Me In: 25 Under 25, and elsewhere. They are Assistant Poetry Editor for Washington Square Review, and an MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU. 

BOAAT VOLUME FOUR