George Korolog

George Korolog is an active member of The Stanford Writers Studio. He has had his work published in numerous print and online journals such as Poets&Artists, Red River Review, Connotation Press, Seventh Circle Press, Willows Wept Review, Red Ocher Literature, Contemporary Haibun, Stone Highway Review, Riverbabble, Blue Fifth, Greensilk Journal, Blue Lake Review and many others. Some of his work will appear in The Whittaker Prize Anthology, “From Here To There and Back,” scheduled to be published in March 2012. His poem, “From tending sheep to confusion on the Amtrak 10:50” won second prize ($1,000 award) in the prestigious 2011 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest. He is presently compiling his first book, Raw String. Some of his work can be found online at http://www.redwoodpoetry.com

Collapsing Outside of the Box

He lusts after life, flexing, popping
bull tendons, muscles throbbing with
the victory over today’s weight, bulging
it proudly for the audience,

the strong man twisting the bar

confident he is the one curving matter
and space, shaping, shifting, dodging,
bringing it all home,

amazing the crowd

transforming the nimbus of uncertainty
into his own charming rainbows. But in
the quiets moments, after the crowd has
gone off to watch other, perhaps more
interesting performances, he pushes
sawdust in slow brown tides over his
shoes and secretly wonders if he has it
all wrong, that perhaps, life
is coiling him to its own bent.

an illusion within a dream within a dream

Now, when he moves, it’s as if he’s pushing
coagulated blood and thick oil through a pinhole
that is closing fast, something strange lurking on
the other side, behind his tiny dot in the universe,

now quick, out of the box

waiting in high grass and bamboo, a grinning
Cheshire slinking through every outcome
from every direction, in every moment stalking
every option, casting alternatives like loaded
dice, creating infinite patterns in the residue
scattered in the wake of either side,

The cat’s out of the bag

and with that, nothing is certain, so he moves
forward in the blind of faith, says, does anything
that allows him to convince himself that he’s actually
planting roots. He suspects that nothing makes
sense, just two sides of a hole where minds crack
open like ripe melons. There are no seeds and no
place to plant them, except, perhaps, at the occasional
performance where the audience applauds and he
can forget about the paws prints relentlessly

tracking him in the sawdust.

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