"No Edge, No Horizon, No Difference tween Here and There," "A Future," and "All the Days Flavors with None of the Nutrition"

No Edge, No Horizon, No Difference tween Here and There

A profusion of flowers i can neither see nor smell,
flowers under snow, flowers after a week of sirocco
or i am a flower in a world without mirrors or still water
flowers without roots, flowers with missing parts

I think shade is a synonym for skin
our planet a single building without doors or windows
vast swaths of painted scenery that come and go,
pausing to explain themselves or ask for directions,
when theres no sun to grow toward
the light never changes:  night is a synonym for sleep

Without a world, without a body, without flavor
an all-encompassing simultaneous memory
waking up surprised—that i did?
that i’ve never seen this room before?
what spins without stopping

Clouds are nothing but water trucks
as my roof is a clear impenetrable patch of highway, busy but silent
            living a time-elapse life
shivering at 90 degrees, sweating in a meat locker
            mooing without a mouth
how can i stand still in this hurried, spinning world
what’s the opposite of vertigo—ennui?  ignorance?
            gaining ten pounds in an instant?

What if we could sleep anywhere so every morning
                       would begin where last night ended. 
what if sleep was necessary for things to happen without us
a world where i sleep 48 hours and think i don’t sleep at all

 


 

A Future

The horizon of exhaust, like gray frosting, as if the rocky mountains
started as dough, over-yeasted at the earths center
forgetting the thermodynamics of that much insulation
trying to create a world from the inside out, without killing—
evolution a flip book of an unrepeatable story
unable to flip the pages of sequoia, brontosaurs

These hills made of a half century of abandoned cars and trucks
so much oxidation, so much more gravity in the crystal warehouse,
the angular momentum of data clouds swarming electricitys hive

Is this a blanket or a slice of bread
why does the bath water get warmer and not cool
a crow suddenly loses all its feathers & shrieks
every nut and seed the squirrels put in our yard
grew 12 inches overnight, so harvest or mulch
getting the soil soft enough for chihuahuas and pugs to swim in

We search the sky for potatoes the size of meteors
staying downwind to know if whats rumbling
are tanks or feral cows

 


 

All the Days Flavors with None of the Nutrition

Protein from the sun; starlight captured in powder
I put a rib through the mirror
Which fingers want wings
An invasion of sparkling, 8-legged dust
The faucets cheat code for cold, clear water

That ring-tone is more command than request
As if the air was sucked out of this town overnight
Our only clothes are blankets
Most fires take more than one person to start
When youre alone what happens is never an accident

A city so vertical and packed
How can I know what to wear if I cant see outside
An empty stomach is the worst compass
When half the stores are mobile & all of them focused
I put a 20 in my cars ignition & pull the handle to see how far I can get

 

 

dan raphael

For over three decades, dan raphael's been active in the Northwest as poet, performer, editor and reading host. His 20th poetry collection, Manything, will be out this fall from Unlikely Books. Current poems appear in Caliban, The Opiate, Otoliths, Stealing Fire and Mad Swirl.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 22:25