Hunter Gagnon

Quarantine poem #78 fisherman in the virus hours


Shot off on the shiny iron of it

all I wanted was to sit at the bar with

my brother

and talk about the end, but

Dragged off in the trench of it

The trough of grey water

The white light everywhere

from salt mist

How it broke him up

the sun which is God

which is my brother

how it broke him apart and spread him out

Little fish fly up like worms tossed

by earthquakes

Fort Bragg CA will be a dead town but I

scud its ocean now

Pulled through the side alleys

of locked doors, the froth of it the trash

man waving

with a neon hand

I am in the boat, I am unstable, they say

we are all in the boat, or in

different boats, but in all sayings

there is a storm

I know of storms how they cut the golden light

into pillars

that stride along the edge

This can’t be sustained

These images of beauty against the cars that don’t


against the rent

My brother against the rent

Against the white bed

Which is God

Against the tube that searches the throat

Which is God and God’s Hand

holding us to the earth, but I

am in a boat

There is no earth in the fish fog here

Only the cliffs like a dark animal

And the harbor

made by dynamite

made to catch us

Some years ago.

Quarantine poem #150 this truth of the dark blue road


As the virus + landlords

took Fort Bragg, I

found my dad

on a green hill

in New Hampshire

my friend in York

on a gravel trail

in a bottle of red

and my brother

in a bottle of red

saw the adversary god

in the face of a striped cat

on a stone wall

then a branch

wolf pine

did not find myself

could not breathe

through my nose

as it was

in the primordial carseat


and the stickwars

a mouthbreather freak

I had to listen

yellow toys and spiked weeds

and yellow and white flowers

and a windy marsh

love falls

on my head

with its sheets of fear

fear killed me in the porch lands

and the kids of paradise

fear and the barn light

circled by hay

my mom drinking and crying

my dad drinking and crying

an orange light like the pinched sun

I am in berwick again

my brother shows me the leaves

of the beech tree

that fill the decay with soft light

the small ones

the ones that can be taken

the ones we eat

Quarrantine poem #151 screaming in the parking lot stones, by some trumpeting chasm


put the gun away and your bird

with its wide yellow eye


put down the necklaces and ropes

of your latest meal, bread


from Hannaford, put down your

tiny biting dandelion dog


remove these loud voids, metal

tubes that stuff your heart


surgery is coming, will you be

the surgeon? or patient?


the skin to be fixed? with black

marker, gas strapped on


put back the gold and the food

release it to the deep nests


of the violated dead


Hunter Gagnon lives in North Berwick, Maine. He has worked as a State Park Seasonal Aide, a bookseller, and as a poetry teacher for elementary schools (before the pandemic). He holds a degree in Philosophy and has served in AmeriCorps and FemaCorps. He is a winner of the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference 2019 Poetry Contest. His work has appeared in 7×7, Joyland, A) Glimpse) Of), Cabildo Quarterly and elsewhere.