dan raphael

Still Hearing It

i don’t want that 100 passenger salmon making an emergency splashdown
in the accumulated mountain skin & silt of my life stream
red doesn’t mean go until you can’t
thinking how a moraine cracked stream is the oceans natural opposite
that an upstream death is better than one where everything accumulates—
so much space with no ones name on it
til that morning
when everythings not what you want
tvs changing stations with every heartbeat
each hours shadow burns a new alphabet

haunted by a past that wasn’t mine, dreaming in Polish,
unable to control myself in restaurants with live fish tanks
or distinguish falling acorns from bullets
back when most nights the sky would tell the same story
and I knew the sun was in my blood revolving through my earth dark heart.
i knew that if i got three days from home I might never get back
take the wrong mountain pass and im no longer articulate or legible,
my cloak no longer matches the trees, streams wont let me step in them
i eat without shitting but feel light as a songbird

Already Gone

we ate an acre of corn that day, we drank a tanker truck of forgotten alcohol
poured away by a generation of busboys and sous chefs trying to set copper on fire,
positioning a pond so the sun would boil the water into something rarer, vanishing cream
or a universal solution putting the crossword and sudoku makers out of business

I looked too closely in einsteins infinite eye at my fractal fingers, my thousand pieced testicles
shrinking into the demagnetized earth trying to throw trees into the sky
and give the clouds their water back, training fish to think like leaves,
putting shoes on my hands so I could land 20 feet above myself.
take the air from the ball and the heat from its skin and you have a challenging lunch.
if you eat the same food every day your body will learn to make different things from it,
like a marching band made from condoms or a bible made from sunken ships.

I take all year to carve the candles for my next birthday
and my wish is always that the flames wont go out but the cake never reveals its baking,
the sadness of eggs who know they wont hatch, the rigidity of vegetable whove never seen
anything but themselves. I pull so much from my mouth I’m glad my clothes don’t need me.
I’m a refrigerator trying to create a meal that becomes you.

                                                                                                          at 9 o clock all the lights go out.
by ten the bed’s stomachs are rumbling as the pillows tie themselves together
and climb up the chimney where naked birds want their money back
allergic to the petrochemical sponge I thought would teach me to dream in a foreign language
so when I woke I’d be the worlds first multilingual terrier, building extinct species in bottles,
turning birds into cargo planes unable to fly west to east.

when I’m down to 6 fingers I pray the calendar is lying; i encourage the mandrake root to dance.
davinci never died he just began eating a new brain, a brain of stained glass windows
and doors with so many unfolding layers, so many road maps creating an accordion geometry
requiring several hands for the chording at frequencies unable to fly through
or keep from becoming locally seismic, unraveling this creek to weave a better august,
to step from a 14th story window and begin tomorrows yoga, like a boomerang jellyfish
i find between albino bread and a pound of cherries compressed into a teaspoon—
arms flex-flossing not like a frigate bird but a side-winding sky snake
crackling its own electric pollen like botanically correct fireworks
coz the quickest intoxication cuts right through the skull, sends every nervend an e-mail,
a smell the can cant contain, like the sun inside a banana, the supermarket about to explode
with yesterdays geometric hatchlings, at least one appendage for cutting yet no agreement on
what to make tendons from, to stretch is to disassociate:

it requires all of my concentration to walk when my feet rarely reach the ground,
my head cant get low enough to get in the car but if i do im pressed against the ceiling
like a tuna swimming through a dam, we need to dredge all the plastic from the ocean
and give the moon some packaging, advertisements only visible by telescope, millionaire robots
hurling seething amoebas of liberated color against the walls of air we’ve removed
the chaos from, too solid for me to get in, a lattice requiring six hands and a pair of
caffeinated gibbons at the controls, a single tone suppressing all the others compressed like a
cable woven from the surest, hungriest, unquestionable—i don’t want to be around when it
unfurls, like jacks beanstalk, like where i’m teleported into a kelp bed
so my only escape is becoming a hundred others,    some predators,    some already gone

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