Andrew Rihn

p o e t r y

The Champion of Stress

I ended the morning

pulling images from the breeze.


Wretched man in the world,

epidemic of dark clouds, thistles, and manhood,

battling against nameless names,

the language of this incipient taste.


Even in the reckless heart

of an inexperienced obscene crisis,


the whole world sounds like music.




The smoke and flames were not lost,

extended like the misty words of intercession


We speak; we are very careful.

Understand the need for precision.


We blossom, then wilt, and blossom

once more. These changes are not metaphors;


these changes are our lives. Even my skin

can feel the beating of my heart, like


this lakeshore horizon at sunset, a floodlight

of confetti: there are no desired fictions.


Andrew Rihn is a writer of essays, poems, and scholarly articles. He is the author of several chapbooks, including America Plops and Fizzes (sunnyoutside press) and The Rust Belt MRI (Pudding House). Along with his wife, the writer Donora A. Rihn, he co-authored the chapbooks The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: An Election Cycle (Moria Books/ Locofo Chaps) and The Day of Small Things (Really Serious Literature). Together, they live in Portage Lakes, OH with their two rescue dogs.