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Brad Liening

Goner

 

It’s only the vaguest of notions

that bind the comings and goings.

Icy draft, phone beep,

for sale signs blowing through empty streets,

wolves passing quietly through green leaves.

Part of my heart is gleaming spaceship,

part intergalactic kangaroo,

part slow and doleful dinosaur

only ever guessed at,

only a few millennia removed

from time-lapsing and condensing

into a skylark in flight.

You make me sick says one,

I hope you’re happy says another,

Yes yes yes says a third.

The grass gleams like

a well oiled death machine,

which is part of my head.

Slowly does the wind undo your hair.

Beauty makes a big deal out of it.

Your beauty is a slick dark well.

Full of balloons.

Patrolled by tigers.

I’m trying to explain now how I love you

but it’s like trying to solve

a math problem during the accordion solo,

like keeping my train of thought

while you undress beside me.

Turn around and it’s nothing

but fancy dinner and crystal.

Then dust.

Then the smell of iron.

Then broken elbow and lost ring,

beautiful face beginning to smile

on the last train fast speeding by.

Is this a rip in the fabric of space or time?

Not that it matters much.

Orange juice, silly hat,

a letter left taped to a door for days.

Somewhere behind us the big fiery roar.

 

 

 

 

For Real

 

You thought your heart was a moat

but it was a small crystal duck

in another’s moat.

A common mistake.

Here comes the riptide.

Here comes the hacked-off arm

looking for vengeance.

Maybe a hug.

Fuck this shit:

bad attitude or enlightened

view of the infinite

all tricked out in spangled ruckus?

Miles away, the hacked-off branch

is planted in dark soil,

a carillon passes through

the keyhole and into the storm.

I’ve come this way before,

I think, but the thought

is gone before I can

even register its color.

Gloop and swirl

of lava and sky.

How quickly we bleed out.

Good thing my blood is full of stars,

my mind a clutch of bees,

you can pass your hand

straight through but it comes

out the worse for wear,

which makes it like most things

we pass through and most

everything that passes through us.

Photons.

Sadness but also joy.

How quick is my love for you

but also good at staying quietly

in one place.

A branch become a tree

full of rubber snakes and lightning.

One hundred umbrellas.

Birds opening their throats

then colors no one has names for.

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