Two poems by Alex Carrigan


Tunnel Sounds


I play music to trap my mind. I stare down a tunnel and wait. I waited and stared down the tunnel for the echo to catch up to me. The echo catches up to me when my eyes start to sting. My eyes sting from the impact as black and green spots fill the air. Black and green spots fill the air as I feel blood pool in my mouth. Blood pools in my mouth and chokes out any attempt to match the melody. I attempt to match the melody, but only harmonize with copper. Harmonizing with copper is an orchestra member who arrived late to rehearsal. Arriving late to rehearsal means that the best seats in the group are taken.

When the best seats are taken, I have to remember the agreement. I remember the agreement I signed when I wanted music to trap my mind.

After Jericho Brown



Concerto ISS


Space is supposed to be silent,

but I can hear the scales of a piano.


I hear the crescendo rise and fall

with the readings on the monitor,


red waves arcing like the top of a tuba,

descending in a low note.


The swish of the conductor’s wand

matches the hurricane I can see


forming over the Gulf of Mexico,

now entering the dies irae.


When the hurricane hits the land,

and when the beat becomes erratic,


will the people below hear the sounds

of a symphony? Or will it be drowned


out like their homes? Their cars?

Their bodies crushed like tin cans


laid out in a row across a fence

to be knocked down one by one with