"What?," "Re-renewal" and "From Haze to Dew"


to describe is to unwrite, to diminish, to lead astray
took the words right out of my mind
the coefficient of friction makes so much possible
a large blank book for a new dictionary
a thesaurus of jokes
say something enough times and it becomes silence
not the words but the ideas not let in or out
a path of half steps and sliding strides
don’t know what I’ll be missing
this time something was on a different channel
a kitchen on every floor but not a floor in every kitchen
one river’s been erased but a new line’s not agreed on
shadows in wind, bursting through a wall of compressed confetti
emit or unravel
as the set is silently shifted
when I teleport my clothes stay behind
tailored space, distressed space, random stretching and shrinking
not waves but weaves
to plug in from anywhere is to be leashed
was the lines longest to get in or to leave
I set the clock back a couple hours and nothing changes
while my phone is between time zones
where a watch used to be has gone feral
sharp little arrows
a circle pretending to be a slide rule
my eyes can count but my brain refuses to translate
you had to be there, behind my eyes
viewing mugshots of previous experiences
each face has angles from which it’s a single line
seldom straight, often glowing with internal reflection
leaving focus for now, protected from earshot
out of range but not out of fire




new ground for new sprouts
a pre-stressed, no blueprint foundation
face in the wind, hovering floor
windows to absorb all the shadows
doesn’t matter how small it’s mine
a loft without walls
murphy bed, murphy kitchen, murphy bathroom
clear ceiling so the floor can stay green
you can tear down a house
but its crumbled soul will infest what’s built upon
cross-bred into apartments and inconsistent utilities
the rain curious about where it’s never been



From Haze to Dew

the haze in the morning sky tells me the sun’s a little hung over,
distracted with plans for next week, those who blame them for global warming
they don’t mind the tiny drains of roof top solar but when they hears of acres
of hungry mouths they wants to send meteors there, but meteors are as trainable
as cats, a few smart enough to know suicide when it’s offered
once I put on the pack its fabric begins to envelope me—involuntary cocoon?
my job is to be whoever the pack wants, a drone on two legs,
a semi-familiar face so mathematically encrypted the cameras have to nap
dreaming of reconstructing beaches from pixels of salt water and sand
since it’s inevitable I become a stunted tree does it matter which kind,
the needles that don’t drop off burrow into my flesh like subway cars seeking companions
making a border tween my second and third fingers, planting flowers that smell like diesel,
leaves half-cupped so rain and aphid sweat slide off, each uttering one syllable
I could link together if the rain fell in sequence, which it never does,
doesn’t take orders and to go only—the world is rain’s drive-up window
but so much of the menu refuses to flow, wants to set its own viscosity
carve its initials of color into rain’s back, the freshest layer too fine and multiple to count—
if every star was a storm you’d never have a day without rain, world rain
rain pre-chilled for glaciers, land that says “no, I’m busy” so rain never knocked again,
forest so welcoming with photos, legends, and gravity-assisted openings
rain was two time zones away before realizing its wallet’s gone, its maps and schedules
rain can come however it likes, cross-dressed, cross-trained
every drop with its own accent or its own seven dwarves—
splashy, oily, mountain-fresh—playing all the roles, running up the sides of buildings,
passing by the doors redolent with celebration, when rain says gets out of town
you have five minutes to fill all you can carry
if I was solid water could the floor bear my weight?
if rain wants to stay in a container doesn’t matter how absorbent or intact it is,
but rain has so many chiefs you wouldn’t know it has plans or limitations.
in the last minute I got 3 more texts from rain, extinguishing fire walls
and making spam seem natural and clean
these days rain and its ocean cousins are in the moving business,
sending millions uphill to open cars and storefronts to remember
what rain tasted like back home, rain like momma used to make.
when you only get potato rain you find a dozen words to prepare it with,
reshape it into dream companions, leaving rain in large open pans to ferment
with local insects, seeds, and how what seems like nothing
starts subdividing into dew



dan raphael

dan raphael's most recent books are In the Wordshed, from Last Word Press, and Maps Menus Emanations, from cyberwit. More recent poems appear in Impspired, Mad Swirl, Lothlorien, Otoliths and A Too Powerful Word. Most Wednesdays dan writes & records a currents event poem for The KBOO Evening News in Portland, Oregon.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, January 4, 2024 - 21:31