Kristian Enright


A butterfly puzzle of sorts mailed to modern artists


Inside: (no explicit instructions, you are an artist—figure it out).
Ok, ok, I will provide some direction.

Put it together so that it looks beautiful
but it cannot fly. It must not, yet.

“Yet, it oddly seems a precursor to cubism” a pseudo
comment posits from a shadow trying to be a person.
Then you can do detective work:
it won’t fly due to this artistic theory?

deep in the pockets of the packaging is a moth
you can paint on for the kids.

The butterfly is really, to those lacking art, a paper air plane
aimed at the head of a teacher, and children can see this.

However, this could be seen through a pair of ideological
glasses that also come with the package.

However, in one defective box
(from some factory with no reference to Warhol
other than a fifteen minute guarantee for short attention spans)

There was a shattering, and the wings were cutting edge
resulting in paper cuts on most hands–
even the calloused moved to think of canyons
how they had to part with skin like voluntary medusas
distant from their former fleshy selves.

You could sense suicide from these edges
like the mould on a bridge that fits your feet exactly
a marker

And yet, it is like a bonsai version of it:

this butterfly could not hold your life, even
as beauty in art has done this many a time—
you might say beauty is buoyant: not too strong, but
This comment ends the “instruction” segment
deep in the box (there was one in fact, but it was in code
on the wings—a visual scrabble)

Yes, I repeat: there is depth inside “the box” and this implies
we can work inside a structure and find a new
dimension, as we make wormholes in galleries
find gyres in toilets and build cathedrals in basements.

But consider the “defective from repetition”
as an art principle in the case of this poem.

In the metaphor of flight a sense of interior is endless
so that we cannot find escapism anywhere.

The moth of reality has moved to the light-bulb of artistic ideas

                    The intrinsic butterfly, finally:

Cutting edges of subtlety.
And the avant-garde’s new clouds made
   to be perforated.




Imagined as a text book diagram


I see an alienating planet rocked (and seemingly forever)
by a constant series of seismic shudders; the surface is made molten
a mockery of flesh and muscle, a scar become a world
wound like a mummified clock wormhole Warhol endeavour
(that last word far too long for the syllabic of seconds).

And here I needed to evoke the idea of a giant monolithic foundation
upon which on could build a transcendence, but into such airy nothing
the stars turned down dimmed like the realization of a wound out there
(a refreshed nothing illustrating the word ‘nothing’).

The possibility of humiliation for this shaky edifice
shattering would mean a disaster upon another
like Corinthian pillars stand engineers they decide they
cannot colonize this planet any more than we could conquer
chaos, the studded saddle on the archetypal tattoo of night, horse tall.

Epilogue shadow into a new colour. The engineers decide
they need to build a deepened flexible mosaic of rubik’s cubes
so that the fragments together offer an autonomous
adaptation engaged with movement that is the the index of change’s
desire made of malleable plastic (where miners disappear in shafts of transparent pillars).
Above is a Platonic image with construction’s hand painted
of all of this, above is where the the steeples melt as Icarus
rings his freedom bell heart. And art was a trickster’s diplomat
clearly, as leashes of fleshy dead lightning bring the great opiate clouds

Over the masses who are free to be lost in the modernist fallout
the great microscope who looks up with a fortified whim
but habit mostly, this looker being the individual. Here the modernist might ask
whether we can place the great dance upon this dance floor
like a busted compass in shrouds sustained by the winds of critical heat.

The poet here imagines a tomb for everything to keep it safe.
(This poem included.) I see this whole vision absorb me
and soon I am so deeply unpersonalized that the word ‘humanist’
could be nothing other than a scribble by a suspicious looking hand.

The foundation could have perverted nature enough to grow a pillar
and on top of the pillar a Corinthian spinning star’s outline pattern above art deco-dent doors.

Can it hold up a great canvas that pulls it away from a future of complacency?
The image of something falling apart that becomes simpler strewn on the ground.
This divides into a million diagrams.

And if you are plastic immortal, you can hold onto the fragment
because its molecules are bigger to make room for explosions
and you can drift from what this means to what that meant.

The theory I would have is that modernist dystopia and utopia
are next door neighbours and that each had the outhouse of the other
in the middle of their backyards, but in the rubik’s model.
This is still a diagram of sorts even if we no longer believe in our local space
and struggle with the illustrations and examples of a meta-narrative.





We could make the stained glass axiom
of a medieval god, with a relative cathedral
of disbelief altered after the Halloween pagan egging

It seems clearer that an image of
god is now diffused
into a governing of residual energies:
it is like the phenomena youth seemed, now, in memory
facing wisdom from a traditionalist.

How can we make rituals
as the planets move, and how can
we not, as stars are swallowed
by huge black holes that are like
stunning cancerous moles on the universe’s face
The telescope is a beautiful squint
that seeks new shapes
but the myth has been given an x-ray treatment:

Is it less easy too see the need
for God in the past? The old church was
made of parallel universe walls amid
the poor, and now the universe
leaks through telescopes, like a proverbial
faucet in the night, its drip mathematical.

It seems that for now, the universe
is a pagan ruin of a monotheistic vision
—the teleology of a meteor is
a messiah with a terrible message
: a touch of chaos heightens all slight order.

The stain glass was a wall for the transparency
of those who felt a transparency with God
was possible, or who pretended…
and now, the churches are more fortresses
for belief in the fermenting abstractions
and a hand reaches down to comprehend.

Now, we struggle with the ghost of God

    (The analogy does not fit: “it” was not human
    as a ghost was, and if it existed, its death
    should be improbable as a creator beyond time makes a master
    piece with a signature that its hand is always on)

Who approaches our existential Hamlet soliloquies
          like a bad dream gathering in other forms.

Not willing to pour perfume
into the ear with reference to
a death that seems too simple,
pure and smooth. To survive
as an idea, God must retain complexity
and avoid the certainty of an image
in the words by the thousands
an impressionism that burns.



Kristian Enright is a poet residing in Winnipeg, a city he is struggling to represent in his upcoming book, Postmodern Weather Report. He has recently achieved a social life that has added dimension to his existence—he is trying to figure out what a life is, or should be. He hopes to write a novel in the future after extensively brooding about the non-lucrative nature of poetry that he has now accepted. 

One Reply to “Kristian Enright”

  1. As a former weather observer, for what was then called Environment Canada, (really, it was a summer job) I say these poems fly, Kristian.

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