Katie Hibner

A Brief History of the Manufacture of Symbols

The Allfather attempted to jolt
the sensory mailbox of the Arctic Circle.
He thawed the bridle path
with a hot rinse of embryos.
He scraped a spark from his flint torc
so he could bake
his timeless suffer-pelts.
He shuttled in orcas
to fatten up his homemade ship burials,
constructing them in ALLCAPS
so they could rise and be sliced
into future Valentine candies.

Later, presenting to a school group,
a tour guide shook down one of the ship burials
for fertility symbols.

A student rolled his eyes, muttering,
If I see another pomegranate in this gallery I’m gonna scream.




The Territory Speaks

I am this town
and its choir director.

I am a mellowed-out banshee of wonders;
I lend my digestive flume as a waterslide
for hard-candy toboggans,
topping it off with a doily half-pipe—

but my historian is a blinkered puppet.

He answers to a pink clown
who lives on a diet
of street corners and pepper spray.

They name my hoosegow “Sputnik.”
They educate school groups with a drone
that only talks in 140 characters or less.

They often reduce me to soaking their foam capsules—
they earn tax exemptions if they sprout into dinosaurs.




Big (Brother) Data

We attempt to pry the NSF-funded balloons
out from the centers of our hard candies,

so the government detains us
in their cream cheese fjord.

Just out of reach,
loaves of Big Daddy Data pile up.

They ask us who we bivouacked with last Arab Spring,
if they would find honeyed sickles on our pocket squares.

All I say is that I hope
they’re denied coffee boys in the afterlife—

they light us up
like twice-baked hot potatoes.




The New Fracking

They weave this town
to a loom sticky with zebra mussels.

Their centurions double as crossing guards,
some genuinely wanting to rocket-fuel our posterity.

For members of their two-bit parliament,
the coiffeur à la mode

is superposition, layers packed
with carbonated ram skulls.

My daughter runs off
with one of their androids.

We used to raise columbines.



KATIE HIBNER is a confetti canon from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, glitterMOB, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Powder Keg, smoking glue gun, and Word for/Word. Katie has read for Salamander and Sixth Finch and dedicates all of her poetry to her mother, Laurie.