dan raphael

Resilience is Fertile

i prefer an indirectory, how not to get here,
patiently undefining, stubbornly indefinite,
feats of towering unstructured, my regional flexicon, 
like i know the sway, raging against average
making the mean relax and smile, dehomogenizing

i’ll do you a flavor, mixing what grows here
with what i’m carrying, yeast from all directions
breaking down to break through, digging a whole,
spirals in time not elevation, it’s wise to rise

these warehouse clouds, between their linings
acres of filtered-outs and sprouts. trimming 
and skimming til brimming, emphasizing the velopment
the tential, before the afterthought, a continuous taste
seldom fashionable, often seasonable, no reason for reason

cause resilience is fertile, imbued to bursting
without braking, so much a skin can hold on its surface
waiting for the next waft or rivulet, where air and water
co-fervesce, no need to separate the crystals from the solution,
curdling is just one way:  engage   marry    ferment    and proliferate

no need to be yon or else, the world is our kitchen
our cellar, roofs but not ceilings, see through floors
and walls ready to open anywhere, no fence, 
we get our stratagy from the sky, there’s grounds for everything,
what all roots lead to, routing the static, strata in all its shapes
and interminglings as parallels meet and co-branch
always some blossoming, some seeding, where minerals
talk to trees message birds translating insects in a furling skein
of imagos, larvae, what comes in isn’t who comes out

when a window is a mirror is a vertical pond
i will never be that still, that opaque and mono-thermal
rushing to read what the rain tells the street 
before a wet crowd instills a sheening wash
intones an om in no language, not enough space
for melody or chords, whether bodied or not,
crawling or flying, i evaporate before entering, 
carry no water but know every language for thirst, 
hunger seldom leaves my eyes

My Next World

Winds of time, winds of seeds, my furnace roars 
like the freeway, the sun’s no bigger than it seems
a couple days past the moon, which no one ever landed on
insubstantial reflection, repository of rumor & myth

On time, out of time, when time has a momentary seizure
and i hope i never hear gravity that way again
my windows have stopped functioning and i can only see 
what doesn’t move, when i cross over, people-mover branching
like neurons, as interference is just abundance we can’t process
trying to connect dots on the other side of some horizon

As my stomach is a cavern with a stream flowing out of its darkness
i’m blinded by the ghosts of bats, almost hearing the wail of stalactites
growing from below the surface was once exposed and verdant
before folded like a pastry, geologic butter, the yeast of pressure
with so many waiting for the next episode, the next open door

If my house had windows birds could fly through would any stop to explore
a house totally windows, all lung sacs, so many root hairs, so many bald spots
which could be stars or spaces scraped clear from the other side, trying to escape
or just get a new flavor of air
                                                      i saw a crow compress into a rain drop,
saw a tongue trying to drink the sheen off the street, don’t know 
where that sky’s been, what’s been thrown into that cloud, stuck and dangling 

I raise and slaughter my own chickens, drying and grinding the wings 
so someday i may fly but would probably only grow random feathers 
nor do i want my bones to hollow and get lighter. something in me 
won’t let me fall on purpose so how can I practice, gather immunity 
from collision, no harm no foul, no blood no mess, 
holding in my screams so antibodies think it’s safe out here, in me

Is nourished the opposite of immune?  the opposite of resistance 
isn’t complacency but attack, absence is the fulcrum, the zero point, 
direction isn’t as important as what i plan to do when i get anywhere, 
walking past the first business for better selection, something not intended 
for those passing through, where the soup of the day started with soup years ago,
a garden in its own micro-climate, knock if you’re hungry and something may appear—
a sandwich, a hamster, a compass, a new song i already know how to dance to
somewhere to wait for the next question

Energy,  Matter, Other Theories

once i started unfolding the newspaper 
kept unfolding itself, growing like 
a dry-cleaning bag, a pink gum bubble
wanting to get into my mouth—where would it stop

once i started unfolding 
the newspaper kept unfolding itself
growing like a dry-cleaning bag
a pink gum bubble wanting to get into my mouth—
where would it stop


in this dormer barely 6 feet wide 4 feet from the floor
no room for stairs, for anything underneath
next time i’ll get a door
more outlets than inlets
a place only hands are allowed in
i would peel the orange but it’s already moving
as the earth settles on its own schedule or whim
as every edge is the start of something


parked in a park
landing on water
flying underground
swimming up the ladder
i got jumped, got grounded
charges reversed, stopped being current


how wind and geography affect appetite
comfort food, slow food, what hasn’t died yet
what didn’t exist where i lived
what never left home


alert to immersion, levels of permeability
doors without walls, windows of so many sizes
parallel but purple
depending on how many holes
the wave was linoleum
the particle is me

Blue Print or X-Ray

a dream of elevators
with brass control panela
only a couple floors to choose from
though the building has many
the numbers on the buttons are hard to read

some floors have halls extending in
both directions—I take neither
some floors only have the room
with 4 or fewer elevators

this door doesn’t close fast enough
to escape someone obnoxious

this elevator only goes to one floor 
not the one I got on at

I exit this elevator
into another elevator


an elevator I didn’t expect
a doorway in the middle of the yard
like the woman in new york
who was replacing a mirror in her bathroom
and found another apartment behind it

if bodies had doors, beds with staircases
a ladder I can keep in my pocket

when grappling hooks work as easily as
in the movies and I have the strength to climb one
or hands like spiderman to crawl walls
and hang from ceilings, maybe just a body
gravity doesn’t care about—
what would my heart say about that
would my brains still want to be gathered
all in one spot, the heaviest spot


I want eyes that adjust to darkness and bright
ears better than dogs’
I am already overwhelmed
with aromas no one else smells
a nose that free associates what it sees

facial recognition? check
give me a couple notes
and I’ll name the song

have little holes in my memory fabric
—Annie Lennox’s name was one—


a one-story house with good bones
a body that needs new siding
up and in or down and out
real estate futures or past lives

soon every body will have an address
that never changes, no matter where you go

times it’s better to have a window that won’t close
     than one that won’t open
screens are nothing but compromise

is this my floor

dan raphael was on a book binge:  Maps   Menus    Emanations was
published by cyberwit in June of 21, Starting Small came out from
Alien Buddha Press in October of 20, and Moving with Every was
released by Flowstone Press in June of 20.
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