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Poems of the Week

MY SOLIDARITY

We meet in a reflective trench and you are skeptical
but then you begin to feel my solidarity
like a short-haired snake between your legs.
The snake starts to hustle, overweening
the lip of pants. Let’s you and I
never be cops to each other. Because we study
elephant lore, and in all the annals of elephant
adventures, there was only one cop. And he
was shit. Elephant stories are like pop songs,
one of the earliest forms of experiential autonomy.
Yes their appearance is in the form of money,
but they go into our mouths and we sing them beautifully
and when our lives are ruined we sing them again
at karaoke. And karaoke is one of the world’s
greatest displays of total solidarity. Almond waves
come out of my phone. Marzipan
insurrection not just televised but broadcast.
If you want to know the status of my solidarity,
look down at the lips on your nipples. We’ll be safe,
or at least in solidarity, reading Bhanudatta’s Bouquet of Rasa
and its comrade in literature, The River of Rasa.
_________________________________________________
Brandon Brown’s first two books were published in 2011, The Persians By Aeschylus (Displaced Press) and The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus (Krupskaya.) Poems and prose have recently appeared in Sprung Formal, Postmodern Culture, BPM, Model Homes, and Art Practical. In 2012, his debut play Charles Baudelaire the Vampire Slayer was staged at Small Press Traffic’s Poet’s Theater. His third book, Flowering Mall, is forthcoming from Roof in the fall of 2012.

The Hills

A wolf whistle sounds. Street level shot of an apartment complex at night, windows lit. “Heidi and Spencer’s Apartment, Hollywood, CA” say white letters at the bottom of the screen. Shot of Heidi’s torso in a room with white walls. She has on a black, low-cut halter dress with russet trim. As she pivots her body, the tip of her bleached hair appears on her tanned shoulders. She lifts one hand to her face. Her face is out of the shot. Spencer appears to be sitting, back to the camera. He is in the left hand corner of the screen. All that can be seen of him is his torso and the back of his curly blonde head. He is wearing a white t-shirt and is out of focus. Heidi is in focus. Heidi walks across the room, back to Spencer. “That looks good,” says Spencer. “Those the shoes?” The camera zooms on Heidi. She half-turns toward the camera and Spencer, tan cleavage and face now viewable. Her face is doubled in the closet mirror. Spencer’s head prevents Heidi’s breasts from doubling. Heidi clutches at the mirror as her body moves up then down then up. “Think so,” she says. Shot of a girl’s tanned feet and ankles. She has French manicured toenails. One foot is in a black open toed peep toe pump, with a loosened ankle strap. The other foot balances on air, as if wearing a shoe. In the right hand corner of the frame, barely viewable, is an open brown leather suitcase. Wide angle shot of the room. Spencer back is still to the camera, mostly, except that a portion of the right side of his face is now viewable. His shirt has black gothic font near the armpit. He sits on a bed covered in unfolded piles of men’s clothes. Across the room, Heidi steps out of the black peep toe pump. A closet across from her is open, clothes spilling from it. One hanger in the closet points straight up. Spencer whistles again, spins two fingers. Heidi turns around without looking. She looks in the mirror. Close up shot of mirror. Heidi’s real head and breasts can be seen, half-blocked by a white wall in the foreground. The closet mirror takes up most of the shot. There is a silver divider down the middle of the mirror, which cuts Heidi’s mirrored body in half. On the wall reflected in the mirror is a light switch; two of the switches are on, one off. Heidi examines her body over her shoulder. Shot of Heidi walking across the room in bare feet, sweeping her blonde hair over her shoulder. Spencer lies on the bed, head on a yellow pillow. He fiddles with the plastic top of an Arrowhead water bottle with both hands. “I’m dying to see if Lauren, Whitney, and Audrina show up to Frankie’s birthday…” he says. Heidi is still walking across the room, not looking at him. Shot Heidi’s head and shoulders up close. She stands in front of a dark, open closet. Air escapes from her mouth. Shot of Spencer on the bed, still fiddling with the water bottle. “…somebody they’ve known for three months,” he continues. “And they didn’t show up their la—best friend’s housewarming partment—party.” Shot of Heidi walking across the room, only now she is holding envelopes in one hand and greeting cards in the other. “So I wrote Lauren a letter…” she says. Shot of Spencer picking at his fingernails. The Arrowhead bottle is tucked into the pile of men’s clothes next to him. He looks up. “…about not coming to the housewarming party.” Shot of Spencer on the bed with envelopes and cards suddenly in his hands. “Let me read these,” he says, smiling. Heidi’s hand can be seen picking up the cards and envelopes as they slip from Spencer’s hands onto his stomach and the bed. One card has a starfish on it and the other one has a beach scene with a lone palm tree. Under the cards, on Spencer’s stomach, is a silver cell phone. “Well, how bout you don’t read them, they’re personal,” says Heidi. “Ahhhhhhohhh,” says Spencer, widening his eyes. Shot of Heidi’s face smiling and leaning forward. The camera follows her as she bends over and pecks Spencer on the lips. Shot of Heidi straightening. “Okay should we go?” she asks, quickly. Shot of Spencer sitting up, catching the silver phone in one hand. “Look at this,” he says. A rap song with cymbals begins to play in the background. Shot of Heidi holding out a black men’s sports jacket. Spencer puts one arm through one sleeve. He is holding the silver phone with his other hand. Heidi smiles at his back as he slips into the jacket. “God, you come in handy so often these days,” says Spencer. The rap song gets loud.

_______________________________________________
Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based writer, performer, and transmedia artist. She is author of The Ravenous Audience (Akashic Books), E! Entertainment (Blanc Press Diamond Edition, forthcoming), and The Fashion Issue (Wonder, forthcoming). She has also written five chapbooks, including, most recently, FASHIONWHORE (Legacy Pictures) and Kept Women (Insert Press, forthcoming). She is founding editor of Gaga Stigmata, an online arts and criticism journal about Lady Gaga, which will be published as a book from Zg Press in 2012.

Automatonophilia

Love of things that falsely represent a sentient being

You married a marionette for the lumbering way
that she succumbs to teeth. You saw; she sways

and says okay. And she admires the daze
you move in, hydroplaning days away:

exultant accidents. Instead of me,
a blissful wooden girl; a wooden knee

submitted for exhibit. Deadened trees:
the shelter you inhabit. And didn’t we

expect it, eking out animatronic
epochs on the sofa? Both electric—

me with boredom; you ran programs: tricks
for trenchant eyes. Disguised, the lists you ticked

led straight to this. Your love nest: nuts and bolts,
no musts. No lust. No faults, and no one’s fault.

Automatonophilia from Nathan Sharratt on Vimeo.

______________________________________________________
Jessica Piazza‘s first full-length collection of poems, Interrobang, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2013. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. She is co-founder of Bat City Review, an editor at Gold Line Press, a contributing editor at The Offending Adam and has blogged for The Best American Poetry and Barrelhouse.

Elegy for a Forty-Three Pound Woman with Mental Retardation

Autumn and you are in your mother’s house.
__________Plants no longer turn
_____but fail down to the soil
_______________from which they sprung.
To be sure I can’t speak properly to you until Winter
_____when the kindly rescuer appeared to find you
alive and moving, resuscitating a growing need on a soiled mattress
__________—whisper body—
one chain away from death in a room you’ve never escaped.
_____Thus you, my joyless seed, sprout.
____________________Could you often hear
_____the butchers’ feast being torn into by mouths in the outer rooms?
Partitioned again the body that is end-stopped. This world
__________did not fall from my head.
_____An ornate impotence arose with the descent of you, and instead
of the too much to say to tell a truth, I’m burdened by a phlegm-thick mouth, my sounds
_______________throat bound and the entire vocal
__________apparatus breaks at the appearance of
_____the French word for apology. I do not sorry.
And so it is that experience becomes
____________________remoteness from you and where and how
_____you were recovered, nude save a diaper, which you filled
__________somehow.
____________________You haunt my lunches henceforth:
eyes obsidian looking back at me: with the warning, this is you.
_______________I waste my food, mingle it with all the others
_____in the cafeteria’s heaping garbage bin. Always luxuriating
in decomposition I think of your hunger and your distance
____________________from being sated. Yet you have
have survived the compost heap, becoming a new
__________drift engendered from a decayed parent system.
_____Was it not a type of softness, kindness that laid you initially
down ___onto the mattress? And you thinned like a blade
unable to come to an end. I know you are alive somewhere,
_____tube dripping
__________protein into your stomach, and I know too because
our luck doesn’t run in that direction. Of all the mad things to wish,
____________________your death is the one unmet by my madness.
_____Just be dead already so I may lead the choir
_______________through practice of your dirge. I’ve chastised
____________________them for prematurely practicing their lilts
_____and guffaws and their throaty chuckles. Rare phenomenon, white music,
_______________denying your own existence yet still issuing waste,
and until there is a word for that,
__________a name for you, the limpid melodies composed
_____and my static accompaniment on the piano falter in your name.
_______________You heard all this and worse
while in your mother’s house where
_____your sole wish was to cut yourself open, expose your perfect interior
_______________to the eyes circling about you.
Perhaps you too heard your requiem. All the more reason to cut off an ear.
Mutilation is a lesser goal of the slaughterhouse. Peer inside it.
__________Equiposed between the animate and the inanimate the terms
_____are laid thus: You, profoundly disabled; me, profoundly incapable.
_______________My thinness, keep your thoughts on me and
__________what I bleed on the killing floor. Here am I
leaning over the butcher’s block with knives
__________shiny and clinical—that much I can promise you.
_______________Disarticulate the memory from the body so finally, here, away from
your mother’s house, in the abattoir-of-what-we-can’t-give-you,
__________I determine our roles in the fantasy
until the fated removal occurs and I the butcher hold
_____the beef heart in my palm, and I lob
____________________the organ onto the table. Its dark melt pools.

_________________________________________________
Ethan J. Hon is from Omaha, NE. He is an editor at JERRY Magazine and a contributing editor at The New Inquiry. He is adjunct faculty at LIM College.

INVISIBLE FUNERAL IN ONE ACT

A bird runs into a window

Enter: A woman (who looks
like me) staring at the patterns
on a Persian rug __Enter: A stagehand, carrying a
mirror

The woman tapes black
construction paper over the mirror When she stares
at the rug and then back at the blacked-
out mirror, neon ghosts of
paisley fractals squirm

A bird runs into a window &
I watch It strikes its beak with its
own beak

Previously Entered: Maurice Blanchot

Maurice Blanchot stands by a desk lamp
in the corner & notes: __It is striking that at
this very moment, when the cadaverous presence
is

Enter: the woman (who is me) staring at
the reflected patterns on her face__ Enter: the television
projecting a woman (who is not me) staring at
a family photograph and saying
___________& I didn’t
___________recognize

Maurice Blanchot scratches
his head __He writes: __when the cadaverous

presence is the presence
of the unknown before us, the mourned deceased
begins to

A bird runs into a window & I
watch & call it by its cadaver name

Enter: the woman, the woman, the philosopher, the
bird __They hold mirrors in front

of their faces __They stretch out
their arms __They will never accidentally crash
through

How else would you touch that othered
eye
___________the mourned deceased begins
___________to resemble himself

(It strikes its arm with its
own arm __It makes a palindrome out of all
its eyes __It lies
in this mirror-plated coffin & talks
of regurgitated worms __I
watch)

Exit: me


___________________________________________________
Elizabeth Cantwell lives in Los Angeles, where she is earning her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. Her poems have recently appeared in such publications as PANK, The Los Angeles Review, La Petite Zine, Indiana Review, and Matter. Her first book, Nights I Let The Tiger Get You, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press.

______________________________________________________________
Bradley Harrison grew up in small town Iowa and is a graduate of Truman State University. Currently a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas in Austin, his work can be found in Gulf Coast, CutBank, The Los Angeles Review, Hunger Mountain, New Orleans Review and other journals. His chapbook Diorama of a People, Burning is forthcoming from Ricochet Editions (Fall 2012).

Maternalique

Sure as a first balled fist,
____________________it wells
you awake
_______as from a quake–

_____the want
_______________to give a swaddled
__________star to the night’s arc.

You step out
_____and the landscape lengthens.

Each parcel of dark
_______________a mouth to be fed,

each umbra hunkered
__________to its suckling.

The fog rocks the gray,
_____loving it with its life.

You walk, emboldened as a nova.

You unfurl.
____________Half-ready to catch the moon’s fall.

______________________Your hand halfway

to the soft part of that skull.

______________________________________________
Stacy Gnall
 is the author of Heart First into the Forest (Alice James Books, 2011). She earned her undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA at the University of Alabama, and she is currently pursuing her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. Her work has previously appeared in The Cincinnati ReviewThe Florida ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewIndiana ReviewThe Laurel ReviewThe Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio she now lives in Los Angeles.

The People of Distress

Going through a box of old ephemerae
I found a tiny notebook called The People of Distress.
The day I found the notebook
was the day I started reading up
on the gnostic gospels
late at night in Vermont, stoned,
the laundry rinsed
by the thunderstorm,
its slow musk
behind our ears
and inside our wrists.
I’m not sure, but I suspect
we have all been given the secret kingdom of God.
Taking VHS into the shadowy back bedroom;
Gesturing to blackflies and moths banging at the windows
that we are mighty
and merciless—
this is how I sit, a box of old papers
between my knees,
a warrior beyond death.
Nothing comes to us.
We work with what is already here.
We live at the garrison
tinfoiling over half-eaten peaches
while out in the world
there are those who believe
Jesus never kissed Mary Magdalene on the mouth
with his great, red, pharmaceutical tongue;
and there are those whose bodies
are perfectly made for erotic positions
in the seamless electricity of stark apartments.

I’m down at the river
gnawing at a sugar maple.
I’m down at the local bar
sheathing famous drinks into myself—
and I see it all—
so give me the parables, natural graves,
the androgynous hallelujah national forestry
of mid-state; give me the lightening,
armament of antique hatpins;
and give back all the bad poems,
because one day you’ll have to answer for them,
all the things you didn’t say.
I am patiently waiting.
Reading my early manifesto
which merely explains that I will one day
write the People of Distress via words
but for now it is all pictures.
It ends magnificently: I am nine now.
And it’s never been judged. Never been typed.
I wish I could take the offspring
out of the gnarled nests of my life
and let them drop.
All the luck of the world would let me in.
And good people
would have me over
for endless bright bloodshot evenings.
The People of Distress would get smaller
and the essential classical masterpieces
would get bigger.
And they would come out—the great tutors,
into the cool night breeze,
perfect gentlemen, grand madams,
to look at the stars of our hemisphere. To recite,
and nod, knowingly,
that this is how we see things through.
This is how all things end.

__________________________________________________________
Bianca Stone is the author of several chapbooks, including Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Argos Books), and the poetry-comic I Want To Open The Mouth God Gave You Beautiful Mutant (Factory Hollow Press). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2011, Conduit, and Tin House. Bianca Stone is also a visual artist and her collaboration with Anne Carson, Antigonick, a new kind of comic book and translation, was published in spring of 2012 by New Directions.

It’s Fair

Our life is boring.
The fat caterpillar makes a ring
on your walking stick. I want

to be consumed by wind,
the smell of oyster mushrooms

and red horses. When folded, things become
unrecognizable like hotdog paste.
Thank god for the unresolved.

The corner of your mouth
a heron holding lavender in its beak,
headed east and west

where the unripe pumpkins jump
in the oven by themselves, covered
in paint chips. The old house

they uprooted from the stinging nettle garden
in Brooklyn delivered itself
like a baby, like a block of ice

sure of itself. Its roof was sleeping
swans laying eggs to feed the ghosts
trapped there from the era of edible roses.

They press the chickens
when they pluck them
and break the wishbone.

__________________________________________________________
Margarita Delcheva is a graduate of the NYU Creative Writing Program. Her recent poems have appeared in Sixth Finch, Fugue, Ep;phany, and Tuesday: An Art Project. The Eight-Finger Concerto, her poetry collection in Bulgarian, was published in Sofia, Bulgaria. Margarita currently resides and teaches in Brooklyn, New York.

from [Practicing Vigilance] 

I’m looting the altars of my former forgiveness
like a cacophony of snow blowers
I’m between making dinner plans
and opening a can of sunshine onto the supernal room
standing in a very quiet desert
forcing the mean soliloquies out
with their un-simulated volcanic ash
hardening my exact replica.
I used to put a miniature rosebush
in the ground each year
to counteract my squalor.
Don’t tell me that definition of madness,
doing the same thing over again etcetera.
The definition of madness
is a certain enthusiasm, then there has
to be another person there
to not share in it—who is oppressed by it
who can only stare into it.
Tell it to the bluebird rustling over my head.
Tell it to a satellite orbiting in its delusion of being a moon.
I’m coaxing the black bull out of my mouth
with a red flag and a beer. I’m constructing
out of my faulty genes, my last sentence, my last thing
which addresses the dilemma obliquely:
we shall perceive our own pain in others.
And we shall know if we are capable of loving them.

__________________________________________________________
Bianca Stone is the author of several chapbooks, including Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Argos Books), and the poetry-comic I Want To Open The Mouth God Gave You Beautiful Mutant (Factory Hollow Press). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2011, Conduit, and Tin House. Bianca Stone is also a visual artist and her collaboration with Anne Carson, Antigonick, a new kind of comic book and translation, was published in spring of 2012 by New Directions.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

you give great masthead
take it from me
I have a microphone
where my soul is supposed to go
if you put your ear up to it
you can hear the future
ten thousand girls
going crazy
at a chess match
and we’re not coming
out of this closet
for any amount
of Klondike Bars
a bird with a broken song
is still a threat
wind can commit murder
and will
if left unchecked
my big black car breathes
or bleeds
a huge floating lung
above the parking lot
dripping privilege
and something yellow
what would you write
in the wet cement
is a test question
that blanks me
like snow arrested
for conspiracy
I need an air-craft carrier
of coffee right now
skin is our biggest enemy
untaxable & international
like the sky
freeloading
crowd pleasing
changing at will
without a pill or talk-show host
a hold over
a secret
history’s history
in other words
we never should have hired
those poets
to explain desire
jesus I’m famished
pass me a slim jim
what’s the deal
with all these babies
and how the hell
did they get Level 4 clearance
let’s talk about science
for a second
the mirrors in this place
make me look
12 pounds lighter
got a great glass guy
could blow god
wanna ditch these yomen
& kick it at the firing range
first dibs
on the anti-idea gun
I get an erection
just saying cold war
BTW
your tax documents
made a great mouse pad
for my spy porn
calm and hostile and alien
we hover above
the price of possibility
like a pissed off umlaut
that decides it doesn’t want
to be a part
of this sentence anymore
not concerned with making music
just content being noise
it is deep in fall
and I’m standing by my motorcycle
like a line of poetry
you take away from a dream
being alive is unbearable
and beautiful and sticky and bright
believe me
I’m not trying to tease this bull
I don’t want either of us to die
but if you wash off the blood
you’d see what I’m waving
is a white flag
and an invisible fist
through the street
through the flood
through the fire
love is a fleet
of tanks flying by
the soul grows dark
the trees turn gold
and the file on Alone
reaches the moon

__________________________________________________________
Sampson Starkweather was born in Pittsboro, NC. He is a founding editor of Birds, LLC. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his girlfriend, the escape artist Paige Taggart.

Doc, there was a hand

Doc, there was a hand, my bed
was pushed across the room,
the wallpaper looked, I drew
faces on the flowers, this one
with closed eyes, and when I woke
they suddenly opened. I watched
my father wash his hands with gasoline,
he always smelled of something
burning. He held out his hands,
twin flames, volcanic rock.
In the room, I mapped out
an archipelago of needs—
mine, then his, then my father’s.
Stray rocks, a map. Doc, you call it
schema, me shut-eyed, my cousin’s
hostile need. I dreamt
my arms were raised. I think
in surrender. I’ve been studying
Freud’s On Dreams, wish fulfillment,
my cousin’s hostile need. He returns
like a wild obsession. (There, like a skein
in my dreams.) Archipelago of desire.
I skip stones, one to another.
My mother’s shame, father’s cold
and brutal shielding. There was
more tenderness in the rain.
I woke with an archipelago
of bruises. It wasn’t my father.
It was a rolodex, scattering
pages. A child’s hips and fingers
long and thick.

_______________________________________________________
Cathy Linh Che’s first book of poems Split will be published by Alice James Books in 2014. She has received fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Kundiman, and Poets & Writers. She currently lives in Brooklyn, where she co-edits the online journal Paperbag.

 

Author’s statement: In the summer of 2012, M.A, Vizsolyi visited Ronnie Yates in Houston, Texas, where it was hot as a mofo. They took walks beneath the live oaks, sweated their asses off, and at night, on the roof of Nick Flynn’s apartment (Nick was away in Paris), they began a collaboration tentatively titled, “It’d be a little cooler not to Rock This,” from which this poem is taken.

Houston Poem 26

this moment
she’s flowering
there were boys around her

that does suck
i agree with that
talk about that grief

i would have been like ‘whoa’
morality is a bitch

but dude

morality will grind your ass
it will fucking stripe your ass
it’s a cat of nine tails
rightous indignation
that’s a legion of decency

oh my shit

that’s like scarlet letter styles
that’s like dragging that girl by the hair

terrible humiliation

nah!

i don’t think that’s what one should do
i don’t think that’s what one should give one’s energies to

_____________________________________________________________
M.A. Vizsolyi’s first book of poems, The Lamp with Wings, was a National Poetry Series selection. His poems have recently appeared in the journals Ploughshares, Tuesday: An Art Project, Ninth Letter, and BOMB. He currently rocks it in Brooklyn.

Ronnie Yates‘ poems have appeared in Ploughshares, POOL, and Colorado Review. His manuscript, Inconsolable Garden, was a finalist for the 2012 Emily Dickinson First Book Award. He is currently rockin’ it in Houston, Texas.

When you fell asleep with your fingerprint on the sensor

I kept your hand warm. I kept my hand above the hand
on your controller, and we scrolled through the menus
together, punched your dream onto the screen.
It was a first person shooter. You navigated through
levels reserved for early adopters. Every portal
glowing in the dark. Of course I’d never dream
you’d cruise through rooms of memory. How you used to
sleeptalk about the startup, in the morning beg me
tell exactly what you’d said. A room filled with diamonds
and enemies, the exit a sewer stacked with rubies
and man-size rats. Aboveground, the circuits of the sky
surge on. A figure on a bridge rimmed with gold coins,
no railing, goes down. You muscle your way into a villa
stocked with backstabbers and portraits of riches.
I never recognize myself in any of the victims.

__________________________________________________________
Elsbeth Pancrazi works for the Poetry Society of America, serves on the editorial board of PEN Journal, and sometimes binds books for Small Anchor Press. Her poems and book reviews have appeared on BOMBlog, Bookslut, Boog City Reader, Forklift, Ohio, H_ngm_n, and elsewhere in print and on the web.

FOR IBRAHIM QASHOUSH

They found you like a river stone
in the Orontes where the people fished
you out. And like oil on water
you take the tint of all colors.
Now a streetwise nation wakes,
thousands on the Brooklyn Bridge,
down Broadway, Cleveland,
L.A., on the lawn of the Capitol
jailbreaking our jobs and mountains,
our houses foreclosing or falling down.
There’s no due process to undo
a quarter-century of bankers
clapping the beat of a pop tune,
people lost to a blindfold of interest.
Listen. They’re singing your song
in the square, old and young, a voice
wading out where the cameras can see.

____________________________________________
Laren McClung is the author of Between Here and Monkey Mountain (Sheep Meadow 2012). She lives between two cities.

from (Opera)
Asylum

1.

______Here is the proof,
____________everything about me.

I couldn’t stop thinking
___________about myself as him,
so the revelatory parts of me
_____like confetti undropped
grew dusty and apologetic.

“It isn’t enough
_____to tell you any more.”

____________*

_____“I’d like to think myself
_____a generation who stayed married.”

Back here, while walking past the foreign languages,
my daily discussion with the parrot behind me,

_____above all I am unaware
who is trying to help.

____________*

_____Given an infinity to write this,
___________you might. On courage:
so much is trial and error.

_____To adapt though, to take
the raw materials
_____of predestination and refine
to a convenient last name.

_____Once, my father
_____said something accidentally
better than any he ever thought.

____________*

_____The closest I get to being alone
an unanswered phone,
_____the showers even crowded.

_____Nancy the butcherbird changes
_____the sheets and rallies discrete
with nicknames and subtle blames
_____we carry
_____with teaspoons
_____to our bedrooms.

______________________________________________________
Brian Trimboli graduated from NYU with his MFA. While there, he held a fellowship for The Veteran Writers Workshop, and was the Poetry Editor for Washington Square Review. He has poems most recently in Gulf Coast; Forklift, Ohio; and No, Dear. He’s been pretty occupied lately with gardening and baseball, but still finds time when necessary.