dan raphael

Getting Some

america wakes up like a pomegranate seed with a thousand hungers
i open my throat to the columbia river without fish to jump through
without a lifetime of nuclear waste building like the first orchestra
when strings would cut before singing, when playing underwater saxophone
lead to early thought balloons with clouds too far away to read
coming down where my hair used to, a scalp like the five loneliest counties in montana.:
we tried to house-train the sun but it never comes when called

every blue-eyed blonde in the northern hemisphere dials the same number at midnight
crackling like a 10,000 watt wedge penetrates the slurred vocabulary of escaping what i cannot
throwing it out the airplane then realizing i dont know how to land
an orbit that couldn’t clear the rockies, so stay local, slam a pint of seeds
into a bedroom 3 feet thick w/ soil, 60 years of compost too diverse to rot
crossbred into unsustainable complexity:
                when every morning im a different size,
i wait til im eye to eye before i peel off the strangers clothes
becoming the face on the drivers license, the thumbprint opening an apartment
blaring music i cant stand, so many petals dissolving in so little water

i dont see tomorrow but im ready to dissect 2 years from now
watching the plastic im wrapped in melt beyond black chemistry & a poorly maintained horizon
not to filter but avoid with highly random, the luck of the unfocussed,
when egg & sperm fuse a new micro-dimension ripples a mouthless yawn.
no one is coming for me. i’m a dozen places other than here

i go in huminskis grocery and gasp from the middle of the world’s largest costco,
as if the vatican was having a garage sale, as if the armed forces evaporated
and left all the pentagons doors unlocked--the first things emptied were the vending machines

what digests my food wouldn’t make it down columbus' gullet.
im changing territory with every step. standing on the platform of what got away.
my body is my compartment. im in the middle seat between an over stuffed past
and a future wearing everything it owns.
                learning to speak the language
while someones still listening: a word no ones thought since the 19thcentury,
a tree built by someone whos never been above ground, never breathed wild air.
we havent the fuel to go to space but have a surplus of shovels, claws & dynamite;

in the future we wont plan beyond the next meal, the next storm
and how tonights shelter wont protect me.
yet some hours I forget what Im surrounded by and spread like a sleeping fire,
a fertile moon, a glass of something the glass cant handle

We Come with Light

we come with light, we go when the rain needs changing, when a panel of sky
surrenders to its hoarded corrosion, singing all 4 parts
like giant helicopters approaching a county of golden wheat so much taller than expected,
sneaky & magnetic, pilot sees giant pats of butter melting into a pond we cant not jump into,
making the road more like bread each time we roll across it, more and more tiny mouths
and other openings, whats not better with butter, trading a hand for a bakery,
trapping the steam from the rivers bathhouse to thicken and slice, to patch the wind and tax it,
those who have nothing to hide never go anywhere, maybe answer the phone after best of 3 coin

with my back against the window, distressing its resistance,
head wont lead, head with mattress corners taped around it, wires around the mattresses,
cooling tubes, copper dyed my hair raining pennies bathed in mirror filament syrup oil
so stick      slide      shine      imprint      take me home

just opening this book makes me want to do several contradictory things,
consensus is squirming on a hard surface unsure what trees could grow inside me
what carbon retention in my conscience looking out the door of my speeding v7,
not a missing cylinder but other priorities, a cylinder with no initiative, with two left arms,
I keep taking the ring off my neck but it keeps reappearing, a little smaller each time,
more bristled, smelling like its about to come alive and hungry, enslaving with its signature

when the duck hit my windshield I noticed it had no wings:
this better be a meat storm, we’re so hungry with tridents atop umbrellas,
a pork shoulder stuck on the basketball rim, maybe we can fill the abandoned wading pool
with the trees our crowded houses have killed and roast the days storm

since we come from everywhere someones always eating, someone needs to sleep
while others must wail at 70 words per minute flowing too diffuse a syntax of sudden news,
sodden and sifting, with the widest eyes possible, lanky muscular quick,
when I bring my fists together like hammers from different centuries,
where the wires lead to, where the satellite pours in espresso frequencies biting their own fumes
a third arm please, a light from incandescent ribs, when cotton was more like cowhide.
when only adults were strong enough to wear leather.

i am a drop inside the stomach of a flea on a hair of an angel dancing with hallucinations,
coz we go there again and again, as if we live there, as if they pay us to hang around,
putting on clothes and giving them back, knowing whose eyes are loaded,
whose expanding black shoe might think I’m an airstrip

if i dont stand up i’ll never fall, when hunger is the sky food is someone elses planet.
like I could step across the river, through the searing radiation.
filling a thousand pages with the tiniest possible, every last ounce of detail from books
I think I read, saw on a shelf, listed as a soup ingredient

legs can get you up but are in the way when landing from a height,
training the lungs to yell so fiercely at the ground it trembles me to stained safety,
knowing by the smell ive never been here,
rain building against the wall of the sky, a door in the floor,
nano-salmon migrating through the shower head,
through my multi-punctured eardrums, a sky too tight to turn away from
when im finally trusting in the walls they change channel, sprouting in one corner,
raising tiny arteries like an eye that’s forgotten to sleep,
we have nothing to boil for coffee but orange juice,
we have nothing to drink from but hands and shoes

(for Alice Notley’s Alma)

dan raphael's new book, The State I'm In, comes out 2/29 from Nine Muses Books.
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