Umbrella
A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose


Connolly Ryan

was born in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1967.

He is a professor of literature at the University of Massachusetts where he was thrice a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award.

His poetry has been published in various journals including Harvard Review, Scythe, Bateau, Slope, and Old Crow. He has two finished manuscripts: Fort Polio and The Uncle Becky Chronicles.


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Here Comes King Sun

The sun is a funny feller.
The luckiest and loneliest feller I know.
He shines down on traffic
till it looks prettier than it is.
He makes lovelier all the lopsided
people and other dented nouns he touches.
In hip-hop terms he’s my shiny dawg
and in archaic terms an illumined beacon.
The sun is a cure-all carousel
or a burn-all shotgun, depending
on who crosses him or not.
When children or Ad-men draw sunglasses
on the sun, I boil with humility and horror
on his behalf. He is queer in every sense
of the word except the one you’re thinking of.
So comprehensive are his rays,
they hide in the flesh and embed in the hides
of all who they stroke. Don’t know about no
vitamin D, but I’ll tell you this: you can keep
your hospitals and drugstores and give me
a greenhouse saturated in solar endorphins
or a meadow imbued with the sun’s alchemical
tendrils; and I will show you an exit
from vexation and panacea for panic.
What he does to raindrops
ensnared in tree-limbs
makes all the times he burned you
seem negligible