David Appelbaum





in later life

thirst comes sooner


a drop of substance

wrung out

with a grip

easy to lose


say logic

is off-stride


x equals not-x


like a cup


for the last drops


my eye appears

at the bottom


parched, liquid


my finger on

worry beads

count already lost


numbers are but


of forgetting


so tell, o sybil


of the convincing


dripping faucets

fill a tub


constant creation

evens things out



a hiss of radiation


old stuff disproves



wanting time

to run backwards


a feeling you can’t

step into one

you can


or if you do

you’re frozen


a dead letter

in the file cabinet



a century late


to a lost address

on the tip of your tongue

be realistic

(I tell my enemy)



the window is dark

my self-reflection


the angel into watching


from the remote rim

of my kitchen


it’s too clear

I’ll never find


the glass pane



(it’s the thought after)


so the breath comes

to rest


a bubble from the bottom

of the snowflake globe


asking if it’s mine



    . . . .


dark, meaning

impervious to suggestion


tender mercies

in the battle of

the ruse


as the eye pivots

from the TV screen


where the shriveled man

waits injustice




to the table where

the last apple sits


will he have sense?

 ‘in later life’

as if come lately

like a whiff of glad tidings


as clocks run down

as the shirt’s

tattered collar unfrays


and the mind’s rusted




entropy knows

(by charge and orbital spin)


gray is the last word


so late is better

since the present’s chronic



forces the margins

to narrow


as you cross names out

barring the angels


who keep time



past infinite nays

to remind you


how a moment ago

came to this world

split the difference


the rising sun does

between the oak the line’s

brightness bridged

on both sides


the negative of which

would be a




burning ahead of

the tribe


leading to the promised

new earth

their covenant true


splintered light



no tablet broken


no doubling down









David Appelbaum has work in e·ratio 11 and in e·ratio 16



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