Issue 19




Two Poems


Dan Raphael








in the trunk inside the trunk

wearing auto parts, parts of kitchen appliances.

egg beaters 2 inches tall like a steam punk mechanical fly

whales emulating side-wheelers


repeat the trees, the grace of will, the coincidence of love

trumping gravity but not other planets, planets disguised as body


when my livers in retrograde, when my nostrils & lungs are in



flip a coin & all the stars are behind us

populating a galaxy w/ gelatinous shadows

plucking sparks like novas of guitar strings;

a wind I cant feel blows the music away

before I can name it, before I have a beat to open 





This June could be March



when i get to the streets more like swimming

fins on the earth, fins in the air slice open the sun

to find several directions, no rules.

the wind cant stay out of my face

as my skin cant decide between fur and feather, hard or soft, dry

   or oily

my inner dermatologist confronts the skys jittery mirror

like a wall of reeds, whistles and bottle tops, each begging to be

   inserted in

momentary lips rubbed raw & musical by all that needs to escape



so many levers in the asphalt reacting randomly to my steps—


a flame 3 states north, something I’ve never seen now in my


where the streets only names are a language I’m too light &
to utter,

prostrating through the neighborhood without compass or
   turn signal,

naked as grass, flowing like a hundred syrup fountains,

clouds of liberated skin hazing me with micro-weather—

relative humility,   barometric pleasure,   high pressure life-styles

and midnights so still time could change directions if I twitch,

when my big hand cant find my crotch and my little hands
   unable to
ward off

the starving meteor flies repulsed by their asphalt relatives,

drawn to the vacuum malls of my heart










Dan Raphael’s most recent books are The State I’m In (nine muses books) and Impulse & Warp: The Selected 20th Century Poems (Wordcraft of Oregon).  Current poems appear in Otoliths, Caliban, Unlikely Stories, Big Bridge and Shadows of the Future. 



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