The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2011

All Issues
OCT 2011 Issue

from Palm Lines

Don't look away

I could die in the sun and no where else

When I gave my impression the city flickered

Is it too late?

Young, proud and haughty

This is a drum beat, buoyant as light

Honest magic, water to sleep in

Take me in your car toward a trashy world

Where I may grow up in the shape of your lubricious heart

Some version of life that can never be accessed

A dream of sitting in a plane that lifts into the air and that's the end

The calm is nice but does not make me kinder

Where I live at night spirits do the most terrible things

When I got to my neighborhood the electricity was out

I couldn't believe anyone actually lived there

When the power came back things still seemed dark

There is the house I almost burned down

There is the new one where someone actually did

When I met you, I wasn't this old

Strange to think about people getting upset, experiencing feelings at all

Here is some hair from a very black dog, to place by the bed for unworried sleep

a radio play for the center of night

In the morning the banshee sings

Spread out the pelt of summer's bear to welcome the rites beneath darkening skies

The captain's locked in his quarters

Good things will happen

But not to him

We'll take him to a place no one's ever been and shoot him

Then straight off to the Capricorn penthouse, high in the red Sierras

And I wish it were true

I'm a sensible woman

I'm a century old

It's a very complicated type of thing

To be lost far out among the wildflowers of all these cities

To take white cake from the sword of the shaman

I think there's a black cat somewhere inside you

And the neighbor's blind horse is finally dying

Here's a wand, someone should try it

To refract light back through a basement in Morgantown

Let's eat some nachos and decide what we want to do

Let's take our nachos to the treehouse and talk about what we want to do

Once upon a time, a fitting memoriam

Living a life in melancholy imagination

Calling out my desires in the graveyard

I want to be covered in shadows

To have a door into the mountain only I know about

To throw rocks at all of these people on this list

To have black boots on my throat

And be followed by sounds

Talk some shit in the village

Never attend a single unglamourous lunch

Be reckless near a miracle

Conclude our devotion

Set flames to my own dumb castle

and hear a final voice that says "Ah child, I have left you poor

but for the far out visions you may never return from."

It's actually happening

I trust you with my sanity but I don't know if I should

What happened last night?

Things are changing

Sitka, Belize, Machu Picchu

An entirely new kind of storm will come down

Long after these bunk beds have collapsed

Stubborn topiary remains

And the volcano no one ever chose a name for

Though once I dreamed I stood near the peak

Cackling as if my bowels had opened

Yield for a moment the paid hours toward the reveries of superstition

So far from the ground

Bell breaks hard anguish against golden dawns

Smelling like fire and falling asleep

To dream of a kaleidoscope precludes questionable intent

Of a telescope one thinks of being lost to the wildness

Of numbers life will shorten

Of holding an animal, change comes with the temperate season

Of the eyes of a stranger, try out their feeling

if you see someone in a picture, a miscreant will lead them into the dark

Of a rosebush, stay vigilant

of an antechamber, madness

If you drop a fork, a man will come to visit you

To be awakened by a sudden storm means your love works

When you left you left a trace of your mouth on a dish

that I didn't wash off for at least a full week

Heat breaks to new light and constant improvements

In the chamber where the dark veil hangs

Distraction is the atmosphere for the future to come

There are some plans I just don't have


Ben Fama

BEN FAMA is the author of the chapbook Aquarius Rising (UDP 2009) and NEW WAVES (Minutes Books 2011). He is the founding editor of Supermachine Poetry Journal.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2011

All Issues